LENTON STUDENTS '... QUITE EXCITED ABOUT THE WEEK AFTER LOCKDOWN.'
 

The Nottingham Post's Matt Jarram, Senior Digital Reporter and Crime Correspondent, writing on Wednesday 11 November 2020, reported that, when interviewed, student living in Lenton were concerned that the introduction of the  'travel window' from 3 December to 9 December for them to return home will affect their studies and their social lives. ...

Nottingham students react to news they will need to go home by December 9

'We are quite excited about the week after lockdown'

Students living in the heart of Lenton believe the 'travel window' to return home for Christmas should have been introduced after December 9.

Concerns have been raised that once the second lockdown ends, students will automatically be sent home, affecting both studies and their social lives.

The government have announced that students will be allowed to travel home for Christmas on staggered departure dates by universities.

Students will have from December 3 to December 9, which will be known as the 'student travel window.'

It is aimed at reducing the risk of transmission to family and friends at home and will be just after the second lockdown finishes on December 2.

The government said tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home for Christmas, with universities in areas of high prevalence prioritised.

University of Nottingham student Saskia Walker, 20, who lives in Lenton, is aiming to get home to Surrey this Christmas.

She said: "It seems like a logical idea but as students we are quite excited about the week after lockdown where we can go into town and to the restaurants again.

"We are excited to socialise again before we go back home. I think I will try and go at the end of the window period."

University of Nottingham student Lucy Franks, 19, added: "It makes sense but it is unrealistic that people will want to go home straight away.

"If we have spent a month not seeing as many people as we would like then to go home for a month. I would like to stay until the term finishes on December 14.

"I do understand if they want us to go home, but people are struggling so much being inside and then having to spend another month at home inside."

Hannah Laws, 21, and Kelsey Pegg, 20, who both study physics and are in their third year at the University of Nottingham also believe the timing isn't right.

Hannah said: "I get the idea but it is too early. I want to finish off my lectures before going home. I don't have a workplace at home to study. It does not work for everyone."

Kelsey added: "I am doing a project at the moment where I have to go into labs and I have got to get more readings quicker before December 9. I think it will affect studies.

"I like it from a safety point of view because my mum is vulnerable. I was worried about how I was going to get home this Christmas."

Karen Hamilton is a GP who works at the practice in Derby Road and also lives in the area.

Ideally, she believes, as soon as students obtain their negative coronavirus test results from the university they should go home rather than sticking around.

She said: "I think it really depends on the viability of asymptomatic and symptomatic testing during these two weeks.

"We all know that a lot of students have been asymptomatic and have transmitted the virus through no fault of their own.

"As a parent of a student who is paying tuition fees I want them to complete their education, which they can't do easily at home.

"The testing needs to be rolled out so they are not sent home on mass on December 3 and exposing their home community inadvertently to the virus."

Foot health professional Helen Edney, 66, lives in St Ann's, which also has a number of student properties. She visits clients in Lenton regularly.

She said: "I would not trust them once the nightlife reopens in Nottingham.

"December 3 to December 9 is a good time for them to go. I don't think the government want them to go in a great surge so I think up to the 9th is okay."

The government states that if a student tests positive before their departure they will need to remain in self-isolation for the required period of 10 days.

Universities are expected to move all learning online by December 9.

A spokesman for the University of Nottingham said: "The University has already indicated that we will make use of our asymptomatic testing service and to allow for the safe movement of students who wish to travel home for the Christmas break and back again in January.

"This may include things such as the option for students to be tested before they go home and a temporary phased approach to online learning leading up to the break or at the beginning of the next year.

"As soon as these plans are fully developed, we will be sharing them with staff and students."

A Nottingham Trent University spokesman said: "We are awaiting further guidance from the Government regarding the matter of the safe return home of students and their return to study in January. 

"We will be communicating with the NTU community in due course."

Nottingham students react to news they will need to go home by December 9 - Nottinghamshire Live