The University expects to receive further guidance from the Government at the end of the Easter vacationLucas Maddalena

Government guidance concerning in-person teaching is not expected to change until May 17 “at the earliest”, an email sent to students from Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope stated this morning (09/04).

The guidance remains that research students and students on practical courses may be given permission to return, and other students may continue to seek permission for reasons relating to health or access to resources.

Toope noted that “the government has promised to issue additional advice ‘at the end of the Easter holidays’,” and committed to updating students on revised guidance for Universities at the earliest opportunity.

This comes as Universities UK (UUK) sent a letter to the Prime Minister earlier this week addressing “the absence of any mention of university students” during his press conference on Monday evening (05/04) regarding the lockdown roadmap. The letter demanded an “explanation for this omission” and “urgent clarification about [the] government’s plans for student returns.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President of UUK, stated that it was “illogical that students are not allowed to return to their self-catering accommodation and resume their studies in Covid-safe university facilities, particularly at this crucial time of the academic year.”


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University to ‘welcome back as many students as possible’ for Easter Term

Addressing students’ returns for Easter term, Toope stated “we continue to believe that for many students studying at Cambridge will be the best and preferred option.” He added that some students, such as international or vulnerable students, “may wish to remain elsewhere.”

This marks a change from the tone of Toope’s emails addressing returns prior to Lent term, with students being urged to “remain where they are currently staying” unless they fell under a set of “exemptions,” including health reasons and essential access to resources.”

The email also reiterated that students should receive two tests for coronavirus if they are travelling to or from Cambridge: one before they travel, and one upon their arrival, using the ‘Return to Cambridge’ testing kits made available by the University’s Asymptomatic Testing Service.