End-of-term student COVID testing starts

The first students have taken part in an end-of-term COVID-19 testing programme launched as part of a drive to ensure they can return home safely in time for Christmas.

Hundreds of students have already taken a lateral-flow test, launched as part of a Government-run testing scheme rolled out to universities across the country, with thousands more expected in the coming days.

Students returning home to their families during the festive period are strongly advised to take the test to make use of the safe travel window between 3 and 9 December.

Martyn Riddleston, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester, said:

“It’s important to end the term well and give our students the chance to be tested so they can enjoy the break with their families and friends and not have to worry about carrying the COVID-19 virus home.

“This is the third day that we’ve been open, and we’ve already run hundreds of tests. Any student who wants to come and have a test before they go home will be able to.

“Our students here have responded really well and we’re proud of how they have followed the advice that we have given them as well as Government guidance.”

The NHS-approved testing kit consists of a simple swab, with results usually returned within two hours, and students would be expected to produce two negative results two to three days apart.

Rachel Marsh is a second-year medicine student from Derbyshire and was among the first to be tested in the Charles Wilson Sports Hall on the main University campus, with a second testing centre in The Village Hub in Oadby.

“It was really quick and easy,” she said. “It took just five minutes to book and then even less than that to do the test.

“I booked a couple of days ago to fit in around my timetable, but I thought it was important to have a test to make sure when I go home I’m not putting anyone at risk and to know I’m not taking anything anywhere. It’s about peace of mind for me and my family.”

Students can book online using their student email address for both Charles Wilson and The Student Hub, Oadby sites.