Liverpool Hope University has confirmed plans are being put in place to allow students to safely return home for Christmas.
This week the Government announced its working with universities to formulate a ‘student travel window’ between December 3rd and the 9th, aimed at minimising the spread of Covid-19.
Hope has ‘welcomed’ the news and is working hard to ensure students can head home to their loved ones at this special time of year.
Dr Penny Haughan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Life & Learning, said student departure times would be staggered to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to.
And students will also have a Covid-19 test before they leave to ensure the safety of the families they’re returning to.
Dr Haughan said: “The Government scheme to ensure students are able to travel home for Christmas - as safely as possible - is obviously very welcome news to all of us.
“I am so glad that we will be able to help students get home to their loved ones.
“The intention is to help students to travel home at staggered times and after as many as possible have undertaken a covid test to ensure that they are not inadvertently carrying the virus home to their families.
“This scheme also gives time for anyone who tests positive to have a period of quarantine before they travel.”
Dates for leaving campus for the various University groups are to be agreed upon over the next few days.
Meanwhile subject leaders with students on placements or with on-campus teaching duties will be consulted to find appropriate departure times.
Dr Haughan adds: “We will also announce details for the additional testing opportunities that accompany this initiative as soon as we have them.”
The announcement comes as Hope plays home to Covid-19 Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) for both symptomatic and asymptomatic students and staff.
The asymptomatic test centre is located in the sports centre at the Hope Park campus and is currently open from 7am to 7pm.
Dr Haughan states: “You can make an appointment or just walk in. I would encourage you to go - it is very quick and easy.
“I went myself yesterday, it took 10 minutes and I had the result by the time I got back to my office.
“For those of you at Creative Campus and Aigburth there are other local centres but you could use the shuttle bus service to come to Hope Park for a test if you need to.”
Meanwhile teaching at arrangements at Hope are also currently under review, with decisions on the extent of online and face-to-face provision for term two to be published in the week beginning December 7th.
The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has also been giving further details as to how the Christmas travel window plan will be rolled-out.
She said a date of December 3rd for the first student departures was arrived at because ‘students will pose a much reduced risk to their loved ones and their community’ following the four-week national lockdown, which ends December 2nd.