Returning to University: What do Students Need to Know?

Written by Calvin Bowers

On the 13th of April, the government outlined when university students can safely return to campus for in-person teaching. Students will be allowed to make this transition from Step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown. This is currently set to no earlier than 17th May.

If each step of the roadmap is entirely successfully, then students will be encouraged to return to campus and their university accommodation. From this point, in-person teaching can resume. Many students, roughly around 49%, were eligible to return to campus from the 8th of March. Due to creative and practical courses resuming teaching.

What is Step 3 of the roadmap?

Announced at the end of February, the government’s plan for easing lockdown came in the form of a four-step plan. More facilities will reopen at each step of the plan, and more social restrictions are eased. The prime minister stated that there would be at least four weeks between each step, analysing Covid data to ensure public safety. Because of this, the proposed dates for each step were only a preliminary estimate of the earliest possible date we would be able to reach that step.

Step 3 of this plan will commence no earlier than 17th May. While Step 1 and Step 2 of the plan have gone ahead on the scheduled dates, there is still a possibility the government could choose to delay Step 3. This could mean a delay for university students returning to campus.

Step 3 will also see a further easing of restrictions on social contact and indoor hospitality.

For the most up to date guidance, visit the government website.

How can students prepare for the return to campus?

Upon arrival back at campus, universities will offer students three supervised tests at a testing centre on campus. This limits the public health risk of students travelling up and down the country to return to their university. After this, universities will encourage students to utilise the government’s offer of twice-weekly free rapid tests for anyone in England. Universities will distribute these to students on campus.

Each university will set its own specific rules and regulations based on the government Higher Education Guidance on masks, social distancing, ventilation, and handwashing. To find specific advice for your university or higher education institution, visit their website, where they should have published details of their Covid satiety plan.

Students should also prepare for their return to campus by planning their transport. You can return by both public and private transport.  However, the government ask students to do so in a way that minimises the risk of transmission for others. This may include avoiding busy travel windows, avoid sharing a car with anyone outside of your household, and wearing masks on public transport.

For more help and information for students studying during Covid-19, have a read of our guides.

Last Updated: Wednesday October 20 2021
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