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Free rapid covid tests for students returning to uni

Free rapid covid tests for students returning to uni

Friday 16 April 2021

Free rapid covid tests for students returning to uni


Free lateral flow device tests will be offered to students returning to universities overseas from the Airport drive-through from next week.

It comes following the UK’s announcement of a university return date of 17 May, with guidance from UK universities and the Government recommending students have tests within their communities before their return.

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Pictured: UK Universities have announced a return date of 17 May.

Last month, a student campaign group called on the Government to offer free covid tests to returning studentsexpressing their concerns that it was “unfair” that young people attending college in Jersey were able to get the tests, but not those returning to the UK. 

Appointments for tests, which are optional, will be available at the airport drive-through on:

  • Wednesday, 21 April
  • Wednesday 28 April
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 3 May and 10 May
  • Wednesday, 19 May – for those students who may return later

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Pictured: Dr Ivan Muscat said that if a student tested positive from an LFD, they would be asked to self-isolate and take a PCR test.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Ivan Muscat said: “We would encourage all students to take a Lateral Flow Test at the Airport drive-through, before they travel back to university. 

“If students test positive, they will be asked to take a PCR test and must self-isolate pending this PCR result in line with the stay-at-home guidance. 

“The turnaround time for a PCR result is now less than 24 hours. Of course, if confirmed as positive, further isolation and management is required. The incidence of infection on the Island is currently very low. 

“This testing is optional, and it is not required by the UK or by universities, however Jersey’s Government is responding to the recent UK guidance, which has advised students to have LFD testing in their communities before returning to university.

“We would like to thank all those involved for their commitment to these testing programmes so we can continue to keep the community safe.”

Bookings will have to be made by Monday 19 April for appointments on 21 April, and by Sunday 25 April for any other appointments, with bookings available by calling 0800 735 5566.

A spokesperson for the Student Loan Support Group, who campaigned to get the tests for students, said: "We are happy to see the government have put in place arrangements for students to test before travel in-line with their universities' requests and the guidance issued by the U.K. government.

"It gives reassurance to students travelling they are not risking others by travelling, and also that on arrival they can access shared accommodation and their campus in the safe knowledge that they have complied with their university covid pledges, and have followed what has been asked of them.

"This travel LFD testing arrangement is short term though; if students plan to travel please book a testing slot as soon as possible. That way the testing team can ensure they have staffing in place to cover demand."

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