UCL News


Message for students thinking of travelling over the winter break

23 November 2020

Message from Professor Anthony Smith and Yasmeen Daoud, Welfare and International Officer, Students’ Union UCL


Dear Students,

We are writing to you to support your travel planning for the winter break.

Deciding whether to travel during a pandemic is complicated: you will be considering the safety of your family and friends as well as your own safety, when and how to travel, and how Government restrictions may affect your return in Term Two.

New UCL student travel advice

To help you make the decision that is best for you, please visit our new webpages. Here you can find out:

  • what the Government guidance says about travelling, both in the UK and abroad 
  • how to request a coronavirus test through UCL
  • what you can do to stay safe and protect your friends and family

Students who intend to leave term-time accommodation are being encouraged by the UK Government to travel between Thursday 3 and Wednesday 9 December. We have changed our teaching and learning arrangements for the remainder of Term One to support students who are planning to travel, to minimise disruption to your studies.

New testing centre at UCL

UCL has also set up a testing centre as part of the national testing programme for universities to support students to travel over the winter break. The centre uses rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), which provide results within two hours. Testing is free and voluntary.

If you are planning to travel, you should allow enough time to take two of these tests, three days apart. Taking two tests means the results will be more reliable and you can be more confident when you’re making plans to visit your family and friends.

Please remember that your results only reflect your status at the time of taking the test and you must keep following the safety guidelines to protect yourself and others, even if you test negative. 

If you’re travelling overseas, some countries may require you to have a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result instead of a rapid Lateral Flow Test. If you’re not sure which test you need, please check our guide to the different types available and how to arrange one.

Wherever you plan to be over the winter break, we hope you, your families and friends stay safe and well.

Best wishes

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs)
Yasmeen Daoud, Welfare and International Officer, Students’ Union UCL

More information 

Watch Yasmeen talking about testing arrangements and travel on Students' Union UCL Facebook.