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Students advised to test for Covid before campus return


Ministers have also updated guidance on use of face coverings in higher education

Students returning to university should take a lateral flow Covid test before they travel back to campus, the government has said.

In a 3 January statement, the Department for Education said university students and all education staff should also be testing themselves twice a week, and more frequently if specifically asked to do so—such as in the event of an outbreak.

It comes after ministers introduced what they say are temporary measures relating to the wearing of face coverings on campus. From today, students and staff—along with adult visitors to higher education settings—should wear masks when moving around the premises, as well as in “teaching settings”.

The DfE said this includes “workshops, laboratories, offices, libraries, teaching rooms and lecture halls”, but that it would not ordinarily expect staff to wear masks while teaching in order to “support education delivery”.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said face-to-face learning was “undoubtedly” best place for young people in education.

“As we enter this new term, I want to thank all staff working in education for their continued dedication and resilience,” he said. “It is through the hard work of all of you that we have ensured, and will continue to ensure pupils and students get the learning that they deserve.

“We must continue to look forward and not forget how far we have come in our fight against this virus.”