Students travelling home for Christmas to take Covid tests

Voluntary tests will be made available to students at college or university from next Monday.

Students travelling home for Christmas to take Covid tests Getty Images
Tests: Students advised to take test ahead of returning home for the holidays.

Students travelling home for Christmas will be able to take voluntary coronavirus tests through their college or university.

The tests will be available from next Monday, Minister for Further and Higher Education Richard Lochhead confirmed. 

As part of a number of measures to support a safe return home, students are also being asked to take extra care in the period leading up their departure.

Students are advised to only go out for essential purposes such as learning, exercise and food shopping in a bid to minimise the number of contacts they have with others and reduce the potential for spread of the virus.

Updated guidance has been published for students on minimising social contact, testing and end of term travel – whether to other parts of Scotland, the UK or the world.

Richard Lochhead said: “Our priority is to ensure that students who wish to go home at the end of term can do so while keeping themselves, their families, friends and communities safe.

“We are asking that students continue living at their term-time accommodation for now and minimise any opportunity to pick up the virus by limiting themselves to only essential reasons to mix with others.

“Voluntary testing will also be available from next Monday. This is part of a huge UK-wide effort by colleges and universities to test asymptomatic students before they leave their term-time accommodation.

“I want to thank all students for their tremendous resilience and patience this academic year and I know that they will continue to do all they can to stay safe and ensure a happy reunion with their loved ones.”

NUS Scotland President Matt Crilly said: “The introduction of mass testing for students and staggered departure dates are warmly welcome and will be a relief to many students and families across Scotland allowing students to return home safely this winter.

“But we now have our part to play and so I’d strongly encourage any student moving household over the holidays to plan ahead and get tested if you can.”