King’s introduces Covid-19 testing plan for students

The plan also includes dates and restrictions for end of term travel

King’s College London has recently introduced a plan to support students returning home at the end of term. In a statement released on Thursday, they outlined new travel dates and restrictions and end of term Covid-19 testing for students in line with government guidance.

Students are ‘required to stay at their current accommodation’ until December 2nd

King’s has said that students are “required to stay at their current term-time accommodation” until the end of the national lockdown on December 2nd. Students should only travel for essential purposes such as study, exercise, and shopping for necessary goods. The statement went on to say that this was to help stop the transmission of the virus.

Travel may only be possible between December 3rd – 9th

The statement added that government advice states that students returning home “should do so within the ‘travel window’ of 3-9 December.” However, this travel window does not apply to postgraduate research students or those on clinical placements. The travel window has been created to allow students enough time to self-isolate before Christmas in case they test positive for the virus, or are in close contact with someone else who tests positive.

For students aiming to travel after December 9th, “a further period of restricted contact before or after returning home would be required.” The government has specified that students travelling post-December 9th risk being unable to travel if they contract Covid-19 or come in close contact with someone who has. In this case, “a period of self-isolation of up to 14 days will be required at university.”

Support will be available for students not travelling home

Students that choose to stay at King’s residences or remain in London for the holidays will continue to have support from King’s staff. Further details regarding what kind of support will be accessible will be made available soon. Nonetheless, student support and wellbeing services will continue to be available through the university. More information about this can be found at Student Services. Current plans for online teaching and assessment will be unaffected, continuing “as planned” until term ends.

End of term testing will begin November 30th

King’s end of term testing plan is part of the government’s testing programme for universities. Testing will be available beginning November 30th for students and staff who have visited King’s campuses or have been residing in King’s residences.

All students are asked to complete the testing process before travelling home, or December 9th. While King’s has said that testing is voluntary for students, they “strongly encourage everyone to take part.” For students not wishing to be tested, there is the additional option of self-isolating 10 days before any travel.

The university is also working on plans to provide testing for students in January 2021 as many return to campus for the start of term.

King’s stated that they would be in touch shortly with additional details regarding testing locations, and how students can book end of term tests. More information about government guidance for university students can be found here.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

2am seminars and no library books: King’s international students on online learning

What the national lockdown means for King’s students

Swapping the Louvre for lockdown: King’s students on ‘year abroad from home’