Free COVID-19 tests begin for students travelling home

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A testing centre at Penryn Campus has been opened, and free COVID-19 tests for students travelling home have begun.

Falmouth University and the University of Exeter have backed the government’s guidance for a “travel window” between 3-9 December during which students are advised to return home for Christmas. Students are also able to remain on campus over Christmas and will be supported.

Teaching across both universities, with some exceptions, will move fully online from 4 December, but university facilities will remain available beyond then. Both universities are still developing their plans for returning to campus in January.

Both universities are encouraging students without COVID-19 symptoms to get tested before traveling home if they wish to reassure themselves and others.

Free lateral flow tests, involving a throat and nasal swab, are now available until 8 December at the Penryn Campus Sports Centre, and students must book online before arriving. The Sports Centre will be open for testing from 10am-6pm, including weekends.

Students getting tested should receive two tests, three days apart, without the need to self-isolate during this period. They should bring a face covering, personal device (phone, laptop, or tablet), and pen with them to the sports centre.

A test should not take more than fifteen minutes, and students will get a result via text within 24 hours.

If the result is negative, students are advised to leave their accommodation within 24 hours.

If positive, students should begin self-isolating for ten days and contact the Rapid Response Team for a test to ensure that they are in fact positive. Close contacts and household members must also self-isolate until testing negative or completing the necessary period of isolation.

Students are advised that a negative COVID-19 test only shows a person’s status at the time of the test, and existing hygiene and social distancing guidelines should continue to be followed.

More information on the end of term and free COVID-19 tests is available online.