To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps is he taking to help ensure the safe return and arrival of (a) students and (b) international students to university in January 2021.
Following the end of term break, our priority for January will be the welfare of students, staff, and the communities around higher education (HE) providers. We are looking to utilise mass testing to make the return to HE as safe as possible and will provide further guidance in due course, considering future developments and the relevant scientific advice.
To keep transmission of COVID-19 in the UK as low as possible, with regards to students arriving from outside the UK, all international arrivals will be required to complete a passenger locator form on arrival, and passengers travelling from a country not on the exemption list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days. The government will review these measures regularly to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.
We are working with the HE sector to ensure that students are welcomed to the UK and are supported on arrival by their chosen university. Further guidance on these measures is available here: www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.
Universities UK have published guidance for the sector to help providers support students fully and properly throughout this period. We would encourage them to have regard for this guidance when planning for the arrival of international students. This can be found at: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2020/self-isolation-guidance.pdf.