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FACT–CHECK: When can I go home for Christmas and will I be able to get a test?

As the end of term rapidly approaches, students will be beginning to think about making plans for returning home for Christmas.

The situation this semester has been made all the more complex by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many Scottish students left wondering if they will be able to access a test before they travel home and when they will be allowed to travel home.

The Scottish Government has outlined plans that will allow students to get a test before they travel home. Following talks between the Scottish Government and the University of Edinburgh, the univerity has been able to confirm more details about the logistics and timescale for delivering many thousands of tests on campus.

So, here is what we know so far.

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Will the semester end as planned on Friday 4th December?

The university has not indicated that teaching will end earlier than as currently planned on Friday 4th December.

When will I be able to travel home?

The university have not given students a timescale in which they are expected to return home. 

They have specifically stated that students will not be asked to return home before the 21st December, when exams end.

Instead, the university have said that they will shortly be inviting students to tell them when they will be expecting to travel home and if they will be on campus over Christmas.

Will I be able to get a test before I travel home?

Students will be able to access two tests, five days apart.

Those who test negative on both occasions will be able to travel home.

Those who test positive will be required to self-isolate. It is hoped that this would end in time for them to travel home before Christmas.

When will I be able to get a test?

The university will make tests available from the 30th November until the 9th Decemeber. Students will have to book a slot in order to access a test.

What sort of test will I get?

The Scottish Government will work with universities to offer two types of tests to students.

One of them is the lateral flow test which delivers results in up to 30 minutes.

The other is the PCR test which is more sensitive and can take up to a day or longer to deliver a result.

Where will I get the test?

The Scottish Government is working with universities to help them offer tests on campus, at specific testing centres for students.

Do I have to get a test?

No, the tests will be voluntary.

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By Lucy Saddler

News Editor.