Returning to University in the New Year

Nick Hillier submitted on

Friday 18th December 2020


With more and more counties going into tier 3 as of tomorrow (19th Dec) for at least two weeks but probably longer what are the  rules on returning to uni in the new year? I am honestly confused by it all. Will we have to come back during that nonsense 5 day free pass period? Or are we allowed to travel out of a tier 3 area to come back to uni?


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Sam Tweedle submitted on

Monday 11th January 2021


Please note: The advice given to this YMC is correct to the best of our understanding on 11/01/21. Government guidance and law may change regularly so you should always refer to for the most up to date information.

Hi Nick,

Apologies for the slow reply to this YMC due to the uni closure period. Seeing as the situation has now changed quite dramatically and we are now in a national lockdown it's probably more useful for me to explain the situation as it is now (11/01/21). Under the national lockdown, as a rule of thumb you should remain where you are currently living for the duration of the national lockdown, however there are several key exceptions to this who can continue to use campus facilities such as the library. If you fall into one of these exceptions, the guidance says you can return to campus at any point, although you should plan your travel to reduce contact with people where possible. The list of exceptions (lifted from the government guidance) are:

  • If you are on a course which the university has said you should return for (e.g. Medicine, Health Sciences, PGCE)
  • International students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation
  • Anyone without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation. This also applies to commuter students who (if not in the first tranche) should only access university resources if they have inadequate study spaces or require additional support such as mental health provision
  • Those of you who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break, but we ask that you only utilise campus resources when you have to in order to reduce footfall on campus
  • Those requiring additional support, including those with mental health issues
  • Those of you on placements where the placement provider has COVID-secure measures in place, is permitted to open based on the relevant local restrictions, and is content for placements to continue
  • Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities for their work. If research students can work from home, they are encouraged to do so

I hope this has helped- if you've got any more questions please do not hesitate to drop one of us an email and we will try our best to help.