Guidance for travelling over the winter break and support for those staying

As we approach the winter break, below you’ll find guidance about travelling within the UK and internationally over the winter break as well as information about how we will support those staying.

You can also read this update on our Campus Safety webpages, and please remember, you should check the latest UK Government guidance before making any travel arrangements.

Travelling within the UK during the winter break

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been identified as a close contact you should not travel. You should get a PCR test and follow the latest stay at home guidance until you receive your result. Find out more about accessing a PCR test on our webpages.

For those without symptoms or not self-isolating, there are currently no restrictions for travelling within England, however, you should check the rules at your destination if you’re planning to travel to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland or the Channel Islands as there may be restrictions in place. See advice for international travel further down this email.

When travelling it is important to adhere to the following public health guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe:

Get a test before travelling: Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should take a lateral flow test and receive a negative result within 24 hours before travelling. You can get a test at our on-campus test site based at the Chapel, Foresight Centre until 17 December, at one of Liverpool City Region’s testing facilities, or collect a home test-kit from the Chapel, the Guild or Sydney Jones Library, from a pharmacy or via the Government webpages. If you currently live in our halls of residence, home test-kits will be distributed in each shared kitchen area and available to collect from your hall’s reception.

Please remember, if your lateral flow test result is positive you should not travel. You should take a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive the result. If your PCR result is negative you are free to travel.

Wear a face covering on all public transport: As part of the latest safety measures announced by the UK Government to restrict the spread of the Omicron variant, face coverings are now compulsory on all public transport, expect for those medically exempt.

Make sure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations: All those aged 12 and over in the UK are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. It’s really encouraging to see the high vaccine take-up rate amongst Higher Education students, but if you haven’t yet received both doses of your vaccination, I would urge you to book directly on the NHS website. The UK Government has also now announced that all 18-39-year olds will now be offered booster jabs by the end of January 2022, please keep checking the NHS website for eligibility.

You should also make sure your NHS COVID Pass is up-to-date and accessible prior to travelling. If you have any issues with your pass you can find further guidance on the NHS webpages, or call 119 for any other questions.

Travelling internationally over the winter break

With the emergence of the newest virus variant, Omicron, international travel guidance and restrictions are changing frequently. It is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the latest advice and rules on the UK Government webpages before travelling abroad and returning to England, including checking if your destination country is on the UK’s ‘red-list’. We would recommend not travelling to any country currently on the red-list unless absolutely necessary.

Before travelling, you should check the entrance requirements at your destination country which may include proof of vaccination status, pre-departure and arrival tests and quarantine.

We also recommend checking the current requirements for re-entering England before you travel abroad. The latest guidance (as 7 December) requires all those aged 12 and over to show a negative PCR or lateral flow test result before travelling to England, and upon arrival to take a PCR test within 2 days and isolate until a negative result is received, regardless of vaccination status. However, please bear in mind that these requirements and travel lists are very likely to change and you should anticipate having to comply with more stringent restrictions, such as quarantine, when making travel plans.

Returning to campus after the winter break

When planning your return travel, if travelling internationally, it is important to allow enough time to complete any required period of quarantine ahead of your first day back on campus, whether this be for in-person teaching sessions or in-person exams. Please note, there will not be the option to reschedule in-person exams or missed teaching online and any missed exams would need to be taken in the resit period as a second attempt, unless you have an accepted extenuating circumstances claim.

The Semester One teaching and assessment period starts on 10 January 2022 and you should now be able to access your exam timetable. Semester Two teaching starts on 31 January 2022 and we will be releasing your academic timetable shortly, please keep checking your email for further details.

Wherever you are travelling from you should adhere to the latest public health guidance. For those travelling from within the UK, this will include taking a lateral flow test at home and travelling within 24 hours of a negative result. You should be able to access a test at a local test centre, from a local pharmacy or by ordering a home test-kit. For those travelling from abroad, please refer to the latest Government guidance (please note, this is likely to change over the next few weeks).

Staying on campus over the winter break

Anybody who wishes to remain on campus or in the city for the holiday period, or part of it, is more than welcome to do so. During this time the University remains committed to providing services and activities that will give you lots to do and support should you need it.