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Thu Oct 15, 2020, 12:46 AM

Ministers plan pre-Christmas Covid lockdown for English universities

Exclusive: students would be told to remain on campus and all teaching done online

Richard Adams and Sally Weale

Wed 14 Oct 2020 13.00 EDT

Ministers want to place universities in England into lockdown for two weeks before Christmas, with students told to remain on campus and all teaching carried out online, the Guardian has learned.

Under the government’s plan, which is in its early stages, universities would go into lockdown from 8 December until 22 December, when all students would be allowed to return to their home towns.

The move is designed to deliver on Boris Johnson’s pledge to “get students home safely for Christmas” but prevent the spread of the virus by limiting mixing between the student body and wider community in the weeks before more than a million students travel home.

Infection rates in some university cities are significantly higher among students than in the general population. Under the plan, students with Covid-19 or its symptoms, and those who have been in contact with them, would have to remain in their accommodation for as long as their quarantine period demands.


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