By Sofia Mleinik
With the Coronavirus Crisis ongoing and less than a month before Christmas, students are planning to return home, to both international and domestic destinations. LSE has provided clear guidance and has made arrangements so that travelling during this period will be as COVID safe as possible. Here are your most urgent questions answered.
When can I go back? – The UK government has chosen 3-9 December as the travel window for students to return home. However, if you are an international student, you are not required to change your flight. In order to facilitate this, the final day of in-person teaching for most courses at LSE will be on the fifth of December.
What do I need to do prior to going back? – Following the government advice, Uk resident students need to take two tests with a minimum 3-day gap in-between and travel within 24 hours of their second negative test. Test bookings for international travelling have been available from 24 November, and testing will begin 30 November, when both PCR and rapid tests will be available. For those travelling within the UK, bookings have been open from 26 November and testing will begin on November 28th. Tests are not mandatory but strongly recommended, as well as free.
PCR test certificates – LSE will provide certificates of a negative test result for students who need them until the 18th of December; these results will be available 24-48 hours after the test is taken.
What if I test positive? – If tested positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days. You should not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus or are part of a self-isolating household. If you are identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who tested positive, you should self-isolate for 14 days even if you tested negative yourself. If you already completed your self-isolation after testing positive, you may receive another positive result and should reach out to LSE directly on.
How do countries differ in travel requirements? – Some countries require that the test is taken a maximum of 72 hours before the arrival time. Countries might have different policies on situations when you test positive but complete self-isolation, o the best way to get home smoothly this break is to contact the authorities for your destination to find out what you should do.
In-person teaching will resume on the 18th of January.