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Daily case numbers in the European Union and United Kingdom this week reached record highs of more than 45,000 on a 14-day notification rate, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and new restrictions are being imposed in places that were well into reopening. Leaders have raised fears over the pressure that hospitals could face in coming months and the looming prospect of new national lockdowns.

The second wave

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday told reporters that the UK is “now seeing a second wave coming in” and that it was “inevitable.”

“Obviously we’re looking very carefully at the spread of the pandemic as it evolves over the last few days,” Johnson said. “There’s no question, as I’ve said for weeks now, that we could (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in. We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe. It has been absolutely inevitable we will see it in this country.

“I don’t want to go into second national lockdown. The only way we can do that is if people follow the guidance.”

British Health Minister Matt Hancock said Sunday that the country was “at a tipping point” following a new rise in cases on Saturday, when Britain registered 4,422 new cases, the highest number since early May.

“People must follow the rules and if they don’t, we will bring in this much more stringent measures,” Matt Hancock said in a BBC interview. When asked about re-imposing a second national lockdown, the minister said: “I don’t rule it out. I don’t want to see it.”

WHO warns of 'very serious situation' in Europe, with 'alarming rates' of virus transmission
Anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Thirty-two people were arrested for violent disorder, public order and assault on an emergency worker and two officers suffered minor injuries, according to the Metropolitan Police. “The amount of hostility shown towards officers, who were simply there to keep people safe, is unacceptable,” said Superintendent Emma Richards.

The UK announced Sunday that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus or has been traced as a close contact will be required by law to self-isolate from September 28 or face fines from £1,000 ($1,300) to £10,000 ($13,000) for repeat offenders. Those with lower incomes will be supported by a £500 ($650) payment, according to a government statement.

The UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe at more than 40,000 and new restrictions on social gatherings were imposed across England this week.

Tourists in central Amsterdam on August 21. The number of daily infections in the Netherlands is now doubling in just over a week.
Johnson is facing a growing backlash even from his usual cheerleaders in Britain’s right-wing press, with the Daily Telegraph and Spectator both questioning the government’s game plan and Times of London columnist Matthew Parris writing that Johnson’s “shine has gone.”
ICUs are nearing capacity in this French city. And it's only September
Their damning words come amid widespread criticism of the UK’s collapsing test-and-trace system that even the PM admits has “huge problems.”

New restrictions were also announced on Friday in Madrid, which accounts for approximately a third of all new cases in Spain, according to the Spanish Health Ministry. The country reported a record 12,183 daily cases on September 11, and has the highest number of cases in Europe at more than 600,000, with more than 30,000 deaths.

France recorded 13,215 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours on Friday, according to data released by its National Health Agency, its highest tally since April. The figures also showed an increasing trend in hospital admissions with 3,626 new patients over the previous seven days. In one major French city, CNN reported this week that hospitals were close to running out of ICU beds.

The Czech Republic reported a record 3,130 daily infections Friday as masks were made mandatory in schools again, and the Netherlands reported a record 1,977 cases. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a news conference that the country’s number of daily infections was doubling in just over a week. “With an R of 1.4, that number will grow in three weeks to more than 10,000 per day,” he said.

“You don’t have to be a mathematician or virologist to understand that these kinds of numbers will inevitably work into the hospitals,” he warned.

Restaurants, cafes, and bars in six Dutch regions will face new restrictions starting Sunday.

Italy recorded its highest tally since May on Friday with 1,907 daily cases; Poland recorded a record 1,002 daily cases on Saturday.

Tourists at the Colosseum in Rome on August 22, when Italian authorities said about 50% of new infections had been contracted during summer vacations.

Where it went wrong

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warned this week of “alarming rates of transmission” and a “very serious situation” in the region, adding that weekly cases have exceeded those reported during the March peak.

While there was an increase in cases in older age groups — those aged 50 to 79 — in the first week of September, Kluge said, the biggest proportion of new cases is still among 25- to 49-year-olds.

In late August, Kluge said the gradual increase in Europe’s cases could be partly explained by “the relaxation of public health and social measures, where authorities have been easing some of the restrictions and people have been dropping their guard.”

Friends gather at Vltava river bank in Prague, on September 16, as the Czech Republic recorded its highest increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

He said he was “very concerned that more and more young people are counted among reported cases,” advising against large gatherings and parties.

In several countries, cases are rising particularly fast in densely populated cities, where people are returning to offices, schools and public places after measures eased following spring’s peak.

Like Spain, Austria has seen its biggest spike in its capital. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told national Austrian news agency APA last Sunday that the situation was ”particularly dramatic” in Vienna, which has more than half of all registered new infections.

Dutch Professor Edward Nieuwenhuis of Roosevelt College University in Middelburg gives an outdoor introduction to live science to 25 students on September 8.

”We are at the beginning of the second wave. We are facing difficult months in the autumn and winter. The number of infections is increasing from day to day,” he said in a tweet, asking Austrians to reduce social contacts as the obligation to wear face masks was expanded to more public places.

Turkey recorded 63 deaths in 24 hours this week, its highest one-day death count. Turkish health minister Fahrettin Koca said at his weekly coronavirus news briefing on September 2 that the country was “in the second peak of the first wave.”

A waitress in Vienna wears a face mask as required by the new, stricter rules put in place by the Austrian government on September 14.

“We are at this threshold today because of the movement around the holiday period and weddings which are integral parts of our traditions.”

Authorities in Italy said in late August that approximately 50% of new infections had been contracted during summer vacations, around the country and abroad, primarily among young adults who have not been cautious with social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

Students wearing masks arrive on September 14 for the start of the school year at the Luigi Einaudi technical high school in Rome, Italy.
Countries including Greece and Croatia, largely spared by the first wave, saw fast case number rises in August as tourists took summer vacations following the reopening of Europe’s internal borders in June.

But Europe can take some comfort from experience. Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, told CNN earlier this month that the initial lockdown was “never, ever going to solve the problem for us in Europe or anywhere else; it was simply deferring it.”

While cases are rising, this can partly be attributed to increased levels of testing, and daily deaths in Europe are down from 3,788 on April 18 to 504 on September 18 on a seven-day rolling average, according to CNN analysis of figures from Johns Hopkins University.

CNN’s Seb Shukla, Laura Perez Maestro, Ingrid Formanek, Eva Tapiero, Mick Krever, Valentina di Donato, Vasco Cotovio, Tomas Etzler, Nadine Schmidt, Isil Sariyuce and Melissa Bell contributed to this report.

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How UK protesters are taking the spark of Black Lives Matter back to their hometowns

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The outcry began in Minnesota, but campaigners spread the spark of the movement to towns around the world. In the UK, even as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in the streets of its major cities.

Yet the movement also spread outside Britain’s big urban centers, as anti-racist campaigners challenged institutional racism in smaller towns and cities which have less ethnic diversity and are less known for their activism. The tragedy of Floyd’s death inspired ordinary people, thousands of miles away in the UK, to fight for institutional change in their communities under the banner of “Black Lives Matter” (BLM).

Six months later, here are some of the voices of those continuing to fight for racial equality outside of the global spotlight.

Maia Thomas

Equality activist, Exeter

Maia Thomas, 21, is an activist who campaigns for Black history and anti-racism to be taught in English schools.

In June, Thomas used social media to organize a peaceful protest and vigil for Floyd in Exeter, a small, historic city in the English county of Devon, around 170 miles southwest of London.

“People were shouting at me in the street ‘you’re pretty for a Black girl, you should use your looks instead of your voice,’ and ‘White supremacy will always win.’ I was threatened online by people saying they were going to attack, kill me and come after my family,” she told CNN.

Thomas said she was physically assaulted by a man in Exeter. After the protest she said she required security patrols in the city’s shopping center where she worked.

“I was given a key card to go through the back-exit doors just in case I was being followed,” she said. “At times my manager escorted me. It was serious.”

Despite the violence Thomas says she experienced, she regards the march as a success.

“There were more Black people at the protest than I’ve ever seen in the whole time that I’ve lived in Devon,” Thomas said.

Many parts of Britain are predominately White. In Exeter alone, out of an estimated 128,900 residents, around 93% are White according to the UK’s most recent census, in 2011.

Thomas’ views on education had an immediate impact. Scores of schools and other educational institutions have asked for the 21-year-old’s help to run equality workshops.

Activists are also pushing to diversify England’s national school curriculum, though this has caused a backlash.
Kemi Badenoch, a Black government minister, for example, criticized the influence of BLM on education in an October 2020 speech in parliament.

Thomas is also a part of “Black Lives Matter Somerset,” helping to produce Black History packs for schools and working to increase diversity within her local council. Next year she will attend a conference in Berlin as a UK delegate to speak about Britain’s BLM movement.

She has no intention of stopping anytime soon, but says campaigning can feel overwhelming: “Every organization, business, school and individual does not realize how draining it is to constantly relive trauma because no one has actually wanted to listen until now.

“I realized in Zoom calls, assemblies and talks if it was any other subject, the school or council would pay for a speaker,” she added. “So why should we as activists and educators be doing this for free?”

Liza Bilal

All Black Lives UK branch founding member, Bristol

"Black people shouldn't have to be brutalized for White people to care."

Liza Bilal is a 21-year-old student and one of the most prominent faces in Britain’s BLM movement. In June, Bilal and five young activists arranged a protest in Bristol, a port city in southwest England that has strong historic links to the UK slave trade. Britain enslaved 3.1 million Africans between 1640 and 1807, transporting them to colonies around the globe, according to Historic England, a public body. Many of them left on ships from Bristol.

Bristol is now 78% White British with a growing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population at 16%.
An estimated 10,000 people marched in support of the BLM movement in Bristol on June 7. The peaceful protest culminated with demonstrators toppling the statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston and hurling it into the River Avon.
Their act of resistance became a focal point for protests in the UK. It ignited a national conversation on slave trader memorials, and Colston’s empty plinth was secretly occupied with the statue of a BLM protester. That was removed 24 hours later by the local authority.

The protests were a call to be heard, said Bilal. “People have been petitioning for the statue to come down for decades and were routinely ignored by the council.”

Bilal believes Floyd’s death forced people outside the US to reflect on their own issues with racism. She said the brutality of his death awakened “a lot of people that hadn’t really thought about systemic racism before.”

The backdrop to 2020 has also been a deadly pandemic, where Britain’s ethnic minorities are up to 50% more likely to die than White Brits, according to a recent government review. Bilal believes it’s time for the UK to address institutional racism.

“Black and Brown people have been disproportionately affected. We know that’s nothing to do with biology and everything to do with systemic racism,” she said.

In November, the UK Human Rights Committee said the coronavirus death rate disparity in the UK is in part due to “deep-seated inequalities.” The inquiry found that major factors include minority groups being more likely to work in frontline jobs and less likely to be protected with adequate PPE.

Yet the surge of protests has also had unintended consequences. Bilal fears the summer’s demonstrations have emboldened Britain’s far-right groups.

“In the summer I saw a group of White supremacists. I think there were maybe around 200-300 guarding the Cenotaph [war memorial] which is next to the plinth from which Edward Colston was torn down,” she told CNN.

UK security experts warn that far-right extremism in the UK is increasing. In June more than 100 people were arrested after violence broke out at a far-right counter-protest in London targeting BLM demonstrations. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the disruption as “racist thuggery.”

The backlash hasn’t halted the All Black Lives campaign’s mission. They continue to hold monthly protests and weekly panels.

“We have to have a resilience that is unbreakable in the face of something as pervasive as White supremacy,” said Bilal.

Graham Campbell

Scottish National Party councilor, Glasgow

"You can get rid of every statue, and every street name, and still have institutionalized racism."
Since Scottish National Party (SNP) councilor Graham Campbell moved from London to Glasgow 20 years ago, Scotland’s largest city has become increasingly ethnically diverse. Around 12% of Glasgow’s population is from an ethnic minority, according to the 2011 census, and more than one in five students in the city’s primary schools are from non-White backgrounds.
In 2017 Campbell became Glasgow’s first African Caribbean councilor. He’s determined to see the city’s growing diversity reflected in its workforce, citing the underemployment of qualified Black professionals.
A 2016 analysis of government data by the UK’s Trades Union Congress found that Black and ethnic minority graduates with a first degree were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their White counterparts.

“They’re not getting interviewed. They’re not getting the breaks. There’s been a lack of awareness that something structural [has] to adjust,” Campbell told CNN.

In June, hundreds of people staged anti-racism rallies in the center of Glasgow. Campbell said the protests were the Black community’s demand for change.

“This generation has decided that the racism, daily microaggressions, and experiences of exclusion from a job market — they’re no longer prepared to tolerate it. They felt the George Floyd moment. They said no more,” Campbell said.

Since joining the local authority, Campbell has seen its ethnic minority workforce double. He wants to reach a proportionate level of employment by 2030. “Had we relied on the rate that we were going, I calculated it would take 107 years before we got a proportionate level of Black employment,” he said.

Campbell helped create an employment working group that monitors diversity in council departments. He worries that without enforcing inclusive hiring initiatives, equality would remain a pipe dream.

According to Campbell, changing place names and removing statues isn’t enough to fight racism in Britain. Instead, he believes consciously challenging racism is necessary.

“People in Scotland too often presumed that you are anti-racist by default. In a racist society, especially one with a colonial history like Britain, you have to be actively anti-racist,” said Campbell.

“It’s the unconscious biases, that translate into institutional practices, that discriminate against non-White people.”

Robert Walcott & Robert Cotterell

Director and chairman, Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association, Sheffield

"Black Lives Matter needs to matter to us as Black people. A lot of it seems to be trying to convince White people -- if they don't know by now, they never will." -- Robert Walcott
Sheffield is one of Britain’s biggest cities, with a population of 575,400 in 2016 and around 20,000 Black residents, according to the 2011 census.
The Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association (SADACCA) provides a space for the local African and Caribbean communities to socialize in the northern English city.

Robert Walcott, a director of SADACCA, believes BLM should primarily help Black people in their day-to-day lives, rather than educating White audiences.

“I want to focus on what we are doing after the protests. I’d like to see more of what we’re doing to support ourselves as opposed to trying to raise the issue to a White audience,” he told CNN.

Walcott’s mother is a part of the Windrush generation, the Caribbean immigrants who moved to the UK from the late 1940s at the invitation of the government.

The Windrush generation was invited to Britain to rebuild the country after World War II. They comprised the UK’s first large wave of Caribbean migration and were named after the Empire Windrush passenger liner that carried some of them across the Atlantic.

The cruel consequences of tougher immigration policies implemented from 2012 were revealed five years later, in what came to be known as the Windrush scandal.

Those who had arrived decades earlier, without papers to prove their legal status as citizens as such documentation wasn’t needed before, had been denied government services, wrongly detained or even deported.

“I think there is a slight disconnect between the Windrush elders because they don’t fully understand why there is such hostility from young people towards the situation,” he said.

Walcott said that “racism was a fact of life” for the Windrush generation, who see younger Black people as currently having more opportunities than they did. “There have been more opportunities for Black people [created] in their lifetime,” he added.

“There is a fragility of people who are still refusing to accept that racism is the world’s number one pandemic. Still people don’t even know what racism is or about England’s major role in the slave trade,” said Robert Cotterell, SADACCA chairman.

BLM grabbed headlines in 2020 but the movement has been active since 2012, when Trayvon Martin’s death sparked the hashtag. The deaths of several African Americans at the hands of police have kept protesters marching since.

Before the protests “there were no conversations at all from institutions and key players in the city,” said Cotterell.

SADACCA has continued discussions with authorities and institutions in Sheffield that “traditionally have had, and still have, issues around institutional structural racism.”

Despite the growing interest in hearing Black voices, Cotterell says anti-racism activists aren’t fairly compensated for their time and work.

“They can’t keep using us as the experts because if we were White, we’d be getting paid for our knowledge,” Cotterell told CNN. “If we were White, we would become consultants, we’d be getting paid… £1,500 a day.”

A CNN/Savanta ComRes poll this year found that Black Britons’ experiences with racism differ from other ethnic groups. “Black people are considerably more dissatisfied with race relations in Britain than other ethnic minorities,” said Chris Hopkins, associate director of Savanta ComRes.

Nadia Thomas

BLM activist, Chepstow

"I had to block a relative because he would constantly send me negative memes, articles and videos of Black people."

Nadia Thomas, 25, says she was forced to cut ties with a close family member after receiving relentless offensive messages due to her supporting BLM.

While 95.6% of the population of Wales is White, in Chepstow, a small town near the border with England, that figure is 98.1%.

“My relative sent me a meme from the film ‘Zulu’ where all the British soldiers took over South Africa and knelt, about to go into battle. It said, ‘me and the boys, hashtag taking the knee,'” Thomas told CNN.

With a mixed-race background and having both White and Black parents, Thomas was shocked by her White relative’s insensitivity. The relative had worked for her Antiguan father for many years.

“It’s an awakening and it goes beyond ignorance,” she said.

In June this year Thomas and a group of friends organized a BLM protest. “At first, I couldn’t take part, I didn’t even want to turn on the TV,” she said.

As Thomas watched the cause spread globally she became less skeptical.

She felt responsible for confronting the racism within her own town — no matter how small or rural. “Since Brexit, [Donald] Trump and Boris [Johnson]… people aren’t afraid to be racist. I always thought it was a passive ignorance in this country and now I see blatant racism. It’s clearly always been here and it’s now allowed by people in power,” Thomas told CNN.

In post-Brexit Britain, overt racism appears to be growing. Last year a report found that 71% of people from ethnic minorities in the UK had reported experiencing racial discrimination, an increase of 13 percentage points since the 2016 Brexit vote.

Thomas is working on ways to tackle racism in Chepstow. “I’ve got a meeting with the Labour Party and my constituency to do with Black history and diversity workshops in school curriculums,” she told CNN.

“Nationally, this needs to be addressed. I don’t want to just protest. I want to shake up the world.”

Khady Gueye

Local Equality Commission founder, Gloucestershire

"A lot of people in the UK don't acknowledge racial violence. They think this is a US problem. Actually, racism is rife in the UK."
When Khady Gueye co-organized a BLM protest in Lydney, Gloucestershire, a small town in southwest England, she didn’t know it would come with controversy. Members of the local council wrote an open letter demanding the demonstration be canceled, two local councilors resigned in protest due to the letter, and Gueye began to feel unwelcome in her hometown, though the event eventually went ahead.

“We were followed home. We were threatened. We were told people were coming to find us. I moved out of my house for a few weeks just because someone followed me home,” said Gueye who is mixed-race Senegalese-British.

In response to the backlash, she founded the Local Equality Commission, a racial equality group that runs workshops to challenge racism in rural areas.

“The main aim of that was to try and suture some of the divides that occurred because of the protests that we organized,” Gueye told CNN. “We wanted to reaffirm to people that this isn’t a problem that’s going away.”

According to Gueye, education on racism is needed most in rural areas: “The UK doesn’t seem to understand how the BLM movement in the US resonates with the UK. In rural areas we don’t have the exposure to diversity. There is no exposure to this knowledge.”

The voices of Gueye and others in small towns demonstrate the power of protest, education and allyship. As the national focus on BLM dies down, Gueye aims to keep the conversation alive in Gloucestershire.

“George Floyd’s murder is the perfect example of the police brutality that happens frequently throughout the world, throughout the US, throughout the UK. We are in a system that is failing Black people,” said Gueye.

“Everything that has happened over the past six months has been a trajectory towards change,” she added. “It’s about trying to engage with people who don’t necessarily understand or empathize with what we’re trying to fight for.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Khady Gueye as the co-founder of the Local Equality Commission. She is the founder of the group.

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Democrats elect Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to lead campaign arm

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As incoming DCCC chief, Maloney will have one of the trickiest jobs in Washington after the Democrats’ down-ballot trouncing at the polls last month that left Republicans between five and seven seats away from the majority. He will have to convince dozens of new candidates to run in a potentially unfavorable environment and in districts that have yet to be drawn.

Maloney will be immediately inserted into the center of an ideological debate that has gripped House Democrats since Nov 3., with the caucus’s warring factions pointing fingers at each other over exactly why they’re staring down a shrunken majority come January.

Many moderate Democrats — who largely supported Maloney for his ability to win in a Trump-won district — are demanding a new party message that veers starkly away from the GOP’s attacks on socialism and progressive slogans like “defund the police.”

Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are dissecting the internal gears at DCCC, arguing that the operation needs to rely on more diverse staff and consultants, devote more resources to get-out-the-vote efforts and completely rethink its digital operations.

Many progressives, particularly lawmakers of color, had flocked behind Cárdenas, who proved to be a prolific fundraiser and organizer as he built the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s campaign arm, BOLD Pac, from the ground up. And he staked his campaign on a vow to Democrats’ increasingly apparent struggles with Latino. The party suffered surprising losses in heavily Latino seats in Florida, Texas and California.

Cárdenas was vocal about reforming some of DCCC’s practices, including ending a contentious policy that banned the organization from hiring any consultant that has helped a primary challenger of a sitting Democrat — a practice that enraged progressives.

Maloney has acknowledged concerns with messaging and said he would reconsider the DCCC blacklist, though he has been mostly restrained — both publicly and privately — in his assessment of DCCC’s miscalculations.

“The smart thing for the DCCC chair to do is to say, I don’t know what happened until I’ve really had a chance to dig into the numbers,” Maloney said in a recent interview.

As chair, Maloney will have an additional task of shepherding members through the decennial redistricting process, which is fraught with politics and internal bickering, particularly in states that are on track to lose a seat. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the Census Bureau will almost certainly not be able to release its reapportionment data in December, delaying states ability to draw new maps.

It’s entirely possible that redistricting alone creates enough red-friendly seats to place Republicans in the majority in 2022. The GOP has total control of the process in many key states, including Texas, Florida and North Carolina, which could have a combined total of 82 seats.

Heather Caygle contributed to this report.

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Students May Not Be Allowed To Return To University For Five Weeks After Christmas To Prevent Spreading Coronavirus Round Campus

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Many students can only begin to return to campus at the end of January, and some not until 5 week into the spring term

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Students who go home for Christmas may have to wait five weeks into the spring term before they can return to campus.

That is according to new government coronavirus guidance, which says the measure “is to minimise transmission risks from the mass movement of students”.

The plan says those on practical or medical courses should be allowed to come back on a staggered basis over three weeks from 4 January.

But for those who do not have work, clinical or practical placements or on “courses requiring access to specialist or technical equipment”, they should not begin to go back until 25 January at the earliest, and should be spread out over a fortnight until 7 February.

As most universities plan to end their spring term after 12 weeks on 26 March, some students may be away from campus for almost half of that time.

And with the education department guidance on going home for Christmas stating people should return between tomorrow and 9 December, some students may be off-campus for more than two months.

Professor Glen O’Hara, who teaches modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes university criticised the plans, tweeting: “It is a total joke and an insult to hard-working lecturers and students. 

“It is badly-written, badly-planned and a complete mess. Disgusting.”

The document to higher education providers, published this afternoon, states: “The government is committed to prioritising education and wants to enable all students, including those who have travelled home for the winter break, to return to university and resume blended learning. 

“While we are confident that the face-to-face teaching element of blended learning can be done in COVID-secure environments, the mass movement of students across the country poses a greater risk for the transmission of infection between areas.

“It is important that measures are taken to manage the return to university carefully, to protect students, staff and local communities, while reducing disruption to education. 

“This guidance sets out how we will support HE providers to enable students to return as safely as possible following the winter break, by staggering this process and to facilitate testing for all.”

Providers are advised that: “The return of students should be staggered over 5 weeks – this is to minimise transmission risks from the mass movement of students.”

It also states universities must offer “asymptomatic mass testing to all students on their return”, and says if they are using lateral flow tests then they should be tested twice, the second one three days after their arrival.

The guidance on who can return says “from 4 January to week commencing 18 January 2021 HE providers should allow those students on practical courses to return to campus in line with their planned start dates”.

It adds: “The remaining courses should be offered online from the beginning of term so that students can continue their studies from home. 

“HE providers should plan for students to return gradually from 25 January, over a 2-week period.”

Students are also told to “use private transport wherever possible and only use public transport if they have no other option”, and universities should encourage people to “avoid car sharing with anyone outside their household or support bubble”.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:   “The health and wellbeing of students, staff and local communities is always our primary concern and this plan will enable a safer return for all students. But we must do this in a way which minimises the risk of transmission.

“I know students have had to make sacrifices this year and have faced a number of challenges, but this staggered return will help to protect students, staff and communities.

“It is so important students have the support they need to continue their education, which is why we are providing up to £20m funding for those facing hardship in these exceptional times.”

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