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Support group calls for free covid tests for departing students

Support group calls for free covid tests for departing students

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Support group calls for free covid tests for departing students


An online support group for students has called on the Government to give free covid tests to university students leaving the island to return to their studies.

The Student Loan Support Group has stated that they want to see free tests given out to students returning to study after the Easter break, stating that is "unfair" to increase student's costs further at a difficult time for them.

UK Government health advice for students states that “students are encouraged to test before they travel back to universitywhere community testing facilities are available to them."

A spokesperson for the Student Loan Support Group said: “Students travelling from the U.K. are asked by U.K. Government to test twice before leaving and also test before they leave their community and again when they arrive. 

“If all students do this the risk of arriving here and receiving a positive test is going to be far less likely and safer for all.  

“As we do have community testing in place here not offering the option for free to our students returning to their place of study seems to be very short-sighted.

“Jersey surely ought to be playing its part and being more community spirited in ensuring we do not contribute further to infection rates in the U.K.”

Student.jpg

Pictured: Students returning to university are advised to have a test before they travel back.

They added: “Local students at UCJ have these free testing arrangements in place, and Dr Muscat was actively encouraging them to get tested only last week. So why isn’t this being offered to all students?”

As it stands, the Government gives incoming travellers free tests, and has recently offered accommodation to any student who cannot isolate at home for Easter. 

The provisions follows the Christmas period last year, when the Government spent £12,730.20 on housing 11 students who were unable to self-isolate. 

The Government have also recently offered the full adult rate for students who are part of income supported families, and are having to still pay UK rents whilst staying on the island. 

However, the group have pointed out that for students wanting to leave the island again to return to their studies, to pay for their tests to go back to university once again takes a chunk out of their finances, especially if they are already paying rent and maintenance.

“Incomes of students and their parents have been adversely affected by covid, to further increase their costs by requiring them to pay is unfair, when local students do not have this cost,” the spokesperson added. 

A Government spokesperson told Express that their current policy is on the basis that the UK currently does not require a test before travel from Jersey residents as the island is within the Common Travel Area.

They also said they are aware a number of universities have made their own provisions for students, and that they would advise students to always check with their universities on the relevant rules and guidelines.

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