Students to be asked to depart early and take tests to return home for Christmas

Staggered departures, tests and two-weeks with reduced mixing are some of the measures students will be asked to take before they can return home for Christmas.

Higher education minister Richard Lochhead told Holyrood on Wednesday afternoon that the government was expecting a “substantial” number of students to return home in the next month.

Students will be asked to stagger their departures, and to depart early, with more advice to follow depending on which area students are in.

Mr Lochhead said students would also be asked to “reduce their social mixing” in the fortnight before they leave.

They will only be allowed out for “essential reasons or exercise”, he added.

Mr Lochhead said the government believed each student would need to be tested twice, five days apart.

“Lateral flow devices” would be used, he said, which can provide results in just half an hour.


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