By Guy Taylor, Investigations Editor
The UK Government Minister for Universities has written to students, clarifying the new COVID-19 restrictions regarding Christmas travel.
In light of the recently introduced Tier 4 restrictions, Michelle Donelan MP has said that students will still be able to travel home once during the period between 3 December 2020 and 7 February 2021.
Students will form part of the household they return to and will not count as a separate household.
The letter, sent to all Bristol students in a university-wide email earlier today, also encourages students to take a COVID-19 test before travel if it is available locally.
My letter to all students outlining the guidance if they are still planning to return home for Christmas, including to and from Tier 4 areas.— Michelle Donelan MP #handsfacespace (@michelledonelan) December 21, 2020
Students would be joining an existing household and will not count as a separate one. pic.twitter.com/10vz1BIF0e
Donelan writes, ‘The government made a commitment that students could return home for Christmas and we are keeping it.’
Over the holiday season, students in Bristol are also able to form support bubbles in line with Tier 2 restrictions.
Those living by themselves in a flat or house, can form a support bubble with another living circle or household of any size. Members within a bubble can have close contact with people in the other household, as if they were members of the same household. This includes meeting indoors, without adhering to social distancing restrictions.
Bristol Uni to cover COVID-19 test costs for international and study abroad students heading home for Christmas
❄️We won't be responding to queries on Twitter over the winter break❄️— Bristol University 🎓 (@BristolUni) December 18, 2020
If you're staying in Bristol over the holidays, there is lots of support available to you here >>https://t.co/EFZhkA2uZn
We'll be responding to queries again from 9am on 5 January 💻 pic.twitter.com/9V6nDfiA1t
On 25 December, it is possible to create a Christmas bubble including people from up to three households or living circles. Within this bubble, it is possible to meet indoors and travel between counties, not including those in Tier 4.
In her letter, Donelan has thanked students for their ‘patience and cooperation with the measures... put in place to enable [students to] continue [their] studies whilst at the same time managing the continuing risks COVID-19 presents to us all.’
Featured Image: Epigram / Tom Taylor
What do you think about the COVID-19 restrictions during the festive period?