Covid: Calls for a single approach after Christmas to student research

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The Liberal Democrats call for a single approach to coronavirus screening students before returning to universities after Christmas.

The party calls for arrangements to be announced before students fly home next month in a joint letter to the Scottish, Welsh, English and Northern Ireland governments.

This comes after a package of initiatives for students to reduce the risks of commuting home over the holidays was revealed by the Scottish government.

Two lateral flow device (LFD) exams, three days apart, will be given to students, which can be booked via their college or university.

After the second result, those who obtain two negative outcomes are advised to return home safely as soon as possible.

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However, the student will be asked to self-isolate and have a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test via the normal NHS Test & Protect channels if either lateral flow test gives a positive result.

“The introduction of mass testing for students and the staggered departure dates are very welcome and will come as a relief to many students and families across Scotland to ensure that students return home safely this winter,” said NUS Scotland President Matt Crilly.

“But we also need to do our bit now, and so I would strongly encourage any student moving to another household over the vacations to plan ahead and get tested if they can.”

But the Lib Dems are now calling on ministers to come up with a proposal to make it easier to return, in the face of concerns that in January there may be a further spike in cases among students.

Party leader Sir Ed Davey said “unsafe and unfair.” were the conditions faced by students in September.

“He said, “Some spent weeks without sufficient resources in isolation, and some universities made the extraordinary decision to build fences around student housing.

“The UK government and the devolved administrations need to reach a joint agreement on universal testing arrangements.”

On Wednesday, Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead told Parliament that the Scottish government is preparing to learn about what happened at the start of the academic year when students arrived at university.

After young people arrived from across Scotland, the United Kingdom, multiple coronavirus outbreaks were recorded in university halls of residence. As well as further afield.

“significantly reduced,”significantly reduced”returning after the new year will not be normal.”it would not be normal to return after the new year.

“We will work with the sector to provide as much clarity as we can for students and staff in the coming weeks.” he promised.

“Every student should have access to testing before they return for the new semester.”

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