DMU students urged to use testing facilities before going home for Christmas

By James Wynn

Students at De Montfort University have been urged to use off-site testing facilities ‘at least twice-weekly’ before returning home for Christmas next month. 

In an email sent to students on Tuesday (NOV17), the university said students should be getting tested ‘regularly’ at a test centre in the Watershed building on Upperton Road. 

The tests, which are part of the government’s ‘lateral flow’ trial scheme, aims to test as many asymptomatic people as possible, with the aim of catching the virus before people spread it unwittingly. 

The pilot was trialled at the end of October at DMU by a small number of students, but the scheme is now readily available to all, with the aim of getting all students home for the Christmas holidays.

“Get yourself regularly tested (at least twice weekly) from now until your planned departure date. We’re providing free asymptomatic Covid-19 tests which give results in approximately 30 minutes,” the email said.

All DMU students returning home will leave between December 3 and 9, as part of a government plan to allow students to spend Christmas with their families.

Reports in September suggested that some students could be told to stay in their university accommodation over the festive season, but in the face of a fierce backlash from students and mental health charities, a testing plan was rolled out last month. 

“We strongly encourage you to book a test as close to your scheduled departure day as possible. A negative result will give you and your friends and family the reassurance needed to return home safely and prevent any further transmission of the virus,” the email continues.  

“We have requested of the Department of Health and Social Care that our testing centre remain open over the weekend of 5-6 December and after.  Until this is confirmed, you should plan to have your test no later than 4 December if your travel window is after this.

“If you test positive at this point you will need to remain in self-isolation for ten days in your term-time accommodation. Once completed, you will still have enough time to make it home for the holidays.”