Preparing to leave campus for the Winter Break

Following the announcement of the Student Travel Window, here’s few things you need to consider when planning your journey home for Christmas.

Everyone should follow the national lockdown restrictions until 2 December 2020 and not travel home before 3 December.

  1. Decide when to travel

The Government has set out a Student Travel Window from 3-9 December 2020. All teaching will move online from 4 December to help support this. Please remember to keep up with your academic timetable online until term finishes on 18 December.

To help you travel home safely and reduce the spread of the virus, we ask that you travel during one of the following timeframes (depending on when you have face-to-face teaching):

  • If you do not have face-to-face teaching on 3-4 December 2020, please try to travel home between 3-6 December 2020.
  • If your face-to-face teaching continues until 4 December 2020, please try to travel home between 5-9 December 2020.

We understand that the allocated dates will not be suitable for all students. Some of you may have already made other plans or intend to stay with us for longer, which you are very welcome to do. Please be assured we will support you whatever your personal circumstances.

Once you know your travel plans please make sure you have completed the Winter Vacation/Student Travel Window survey which was emailed to you by the Accommodation Team on Friday 13 November 2020.

Please note: If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS test and Trace system, you will have to follow the self-isolation guidance before travelling home. See our self-isolation support.

  1. Book a test

You can book a Covid-19 test before you leave campus to help protect your loved ones and stop the spread of Covid-19.

  1. Plan your journey

If you are being collected by car between 3-9 December 2020, the person collecting you will not require a parking permit. They can park free of charge in marked parking bays on campus. Please have everything you want to take home with you ready for when they arrive so you can quickly load the car and make your way home.

If you are using public transport, book your tickets in advance, take a face covering, check for travel disruptions ahead of time, and avoid busy times (we anticipate 5-6 December will be busy). See our tips for travelling during Covid-19.

National Express has enhanced their coach service to help students get safely home between 3-9 December and you can get a 10% discount. Read more and get a discount code.

If you are planning to take the train, please book in advance and check South-Eastern’s website for travel disruption. Find out more on South-Eastern’s website.

You can read our full advice and FAQs for travelling home for Christmas, including travelling outside of the ‘Student Travel Window’, on our Transport webpages.

  1. Planning international travel

International students: you can travel home from 3 December. Before you travel, you should:

  • Check the COVID-19 entry requirements for your destination country
  • Speak to your travel insurer
  • Check with your carrier for latest developments at your destination
  • Plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes

If you are a student abroad and are travelling back to the UK, you should:

  • Speak to your travel insurer
  • Check GOV.UK for advice on returning to the UK
  • Plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes
  • Complete your Passenger Locator Form before you return to the UK
  1. Leaving on-campus accommodation

If you are leaving your on-campus accommodation for the winter break, please make sure you:

  • Remove all rubbish from your accommodation, kitchen, and bins
  • Turn off all electrical items and lights (but not the fridge!)
  • Dispose of any perishable foods or take them with you. You can also donate any unwanted items. 
  • Close your windows but leave the vent open
  • Check your doors are locked

If you live in part-catered accommodation and are staying after the travel window don’t forget your winter vacation move out dates.

In case another lockdown delays your return, we also recommend taking all your important items with you.

Remember that items left in communal areas are not covered by your standard room insurance, so you may wish to move items into your bedroom.

Read more about moving out on our accommodation webpages.

Have a safe journey home and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year!

Photo by Nubia Navarro on Unsplash