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Canterbury asymptomatic testing and spring return update

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience

I am emailing to let you know that the booking system is now open for you to reserve appointments at our Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) on the Canterbury campus in the New Year.

Tests will be available between 5 January and 7 February 2021. Please note you should only book your testing appointments once you have reviewed your Spring timetable which is now available.

Please note – if your term address is nearer the Medway campus, you should consider arranging your tests at Medway instead.

What is asymptomatic testing?

Asymptomatic testing is specifically designed for people who are asymptomatic i.e. not displaying symptoms of Covid-19. The ATS provides Lateral Flow Tests which are different to the tests offered by NHS Local Testing Sites.

Please note that if you do have symptoms of Covid-19 you should follow our Isolate Test and Inform procedure and book a PCR test via the NHS Coronavirus website.

When should I be tested in the New Year?

The Government is advising that all students be tested before their face-to-face teaching begins in the New Year. Your timetable will indicate when your first face-to-face teaching session is. Please remember you should ideally be tested twice within 3-5 days before you attend. If you have not been tested in the first few weeks of term, please do so in the week beginning 1 February 2021 as the testing site will close at the end of that week.

If it is available, you are also advised to have a test local to your home address, prior to travelling.

Please note you should avoid close contact with others between your arrival and receiving your second test result.

Students arriving from overseas who wish to be tested at Canterbury and Medway are allowed to do so, but must first follow the relevant government guidance in full. Our testing programme is not a permitted alternative to completing the full 10-day period of self-isolation if arriving from a non-exempt country and cannot be used to reduce that period of self-isolation under the Government’s Test and Release Scheme.

When should I return to campus?

To help you comply with Government guidelines, we have set out the following suggested arrival and testing windows based on when your first face-to-face teaching is taking place.

First face-to-face teaching session  Recommended arrival window and testing 
w/c 18 January 9-15 January
w/c 25 January 16-22 January
w/c 1 February 23-29 January
Anytime after 8 February 30 January–7 February*


*Please note – two tests are recommended 3-5 days apart and the last testing day is the 7 February.

These dates are designed to help you follow the Government recommendations. We know this will not be convenient for all of you and some of you may have already made other travel plans. We will support you whatever your travel arrangements and intended arrival date back to University.

If you are a postgraduate student, you may return to campus to use specialist facilities whenever you need to. However, if possible, you should be tested before accessing laboratories.

When will my teaching start in the new year?

Teaching begins on 18 January 2021 for all study programmes apart from KMMS. You should engage with all teaching sessions from this date. Your face-to-face teaching will be reintroduced over the first few weeks of term as shown on your timetable.

If you have any problems with the Asymptomatic Testing booking system, please email

For other questions about Covid-19 related health, welfare and support issues please check our Coronavirus webpages or email

Best wishes


Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience