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COVID-19 testing and travel arrangements for students leaving Manchester for Christmas

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Updated 21 July: Our campus COVID-19 testing centres will be closing from 23 July, but you can still get regular rapid lateral flow tests at multiple locations across Manchester. Visit the City Council website to find out more.

We know you are keen to understand the arrangements in place for those of you leaving campus for the Christmas break. As you will probably know, the government has put in place a student travel window which runs from 3 to 9 December and we are helping to support this by running a testing programme for students without symptoms of COVID-19.

Below are details of our rapid testing offer, safe travel arrangements and of course for those of you staying in Manchester, support available.

Please note, although this information is primarily aimed at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students, Postgraduate Research students planning on travel during the travel window can also book rapid tests. However, PGR students are welcome to stay on campus working until the University closes for the Christmas break on the 18th December. You should have received an email with specific information, and you can find out more in the FAQ section of travel and testing website..

We know it’s a difficult time, but hope this information will help you plan for the break , wherever you will be spending it.

Get tested before you travel
To support you in getting home during the government student travel window (3-9 December), we have put in place arrangements for you to access free, rapid testing, starting on Saturday 28 November.

If you intend to travel home over Christmas, we strongly encourage you to take two tests, 72 hours apart. This means that you are reducing the risk of transmission to other people while you travel and friends and family when you’re back at home.

In line with government requirements and to reduce pressure on transport, we have suggested dates, ordered by school, when you should book your tests. We have established four testing sites, and can accommodate several thousand tests each day. Booking slots are now available online.
To find out how testing works, where to get tested and to book your slot, visit our end of semester travel and testing website. There’s also information about what to do when you get your results.

The tests may not be suitable for people planning international travel, those on NHS placements, or people with symptoms or who are already self-isolating, so please check the website for further details. You must not get tested using this method if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

How to travel
We encourage you to use private modes of travel where possible. If you are in University halls, you will be sent more information directly.

If you need to use public transport, then please follow the government safer travel guidance
Further travel information is available on our end of term travel and testing website.

If any student (home, international, undergraduate or postgraduate) has severe and unanticipated hardship related to travel, then you may be eligible for our Living Cost Support Fund. International travel may include the requirement for a private test, so please factor this into your overall travel costs.

Staying with us over the break
If you are one of the many students who chooses to stay with us over the Christmas break, then we are here for you. Alongside our extensive support services, we are putting in place additional measures over the break. This information will be sent to you shortly.

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