By Molly Pipe, Deputy News Editor
The initiative will reimburse up to £150 per student.
The University of Bristol has agreed to reimburse the cost of coronavirus tests for international and study abroad students who require tests to get home for Christmas.
Many countries require travellers to have had a negative polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test before crossing the border.
However, students have been unable to get these free on the NHS because private testing facilities are the only ones that provide documentary evidence of the test results. These will be required at customs.
The University said it will reimburse up to £150 per student. Applicants for the claim will need to provide their test receipt and result certificate, as well as proof of their travel.
After a huge amount of work from your International Students' Officer Roy....— Bristol SU (@Bristol_SU) December 9, 2020
Funding has been secured from @BristolUni to cover the cost of PCR tests for international students wanting to fly home for the holidays! 🎉😍🎄
Stay tuned for more updates on how to book 📝 pic.twitter.com/LQKPN3gEUF
The decision to reimburse these students follows talks between the University and International Students' Officer Roy Kiruri.
Speaking out on the matter Roy said: ‘Many international students had reached out to me saying these tests are exorbitant - anywhere between £150 and £250. It's especially hard on international students who have other costs that they are fronting.
‘I'm still trying to push to see if the cap can be increased [beyond £150], but right now it's a pretty significant development.’
‘It's a huge step in showing international students that the University cares about them’ - Roy Kiruri
He added: ‘I think it's a big win. It's good to see a lot of good will coming from the University.
‘It's a huge step in showing international students that the University cares about them.’
The announcement of the policy was met with enthusiasm by many, with students praising Roy Kiruri for his involvement in the University's decision.
PCR tests are different from the lateral flow tests (LFT) that the University has rolled out in their free-to-use mass testing scheme.
Whilst lateral flow tests have been deemed suitable for mass testing, they are less reliable than PCRs. This has led to the requirement for travellers to have had a negative PCR test before crossing to different countries.
Further details on how to apply for reimbursement can be found here.
Featured: A COVID-19 home testing kit | Epigram / Molly Pipe
What do you think about the reimbursement?