DECEMBER 14, 2021
The United Kingdom’s international students are currently in a period of uncertainty due to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has pushed many countries around the world to close borders.
Following closures, international students are unsure whether they will be able to begin or continue their studies in the UK, while several universities across the country have offered to cover the costs related to the mandatory quarantine to international students coming from red list countries, Erudera.com reports.
Some institutions said that they would partially cover the costs of hotel quarantine for international students, while the following indicated that they will offer full support:
- University of Manchester
- University of Bath
- University of Exeter
- Loughborough University
- University of Nottingham
- Swansea University
The UK government announced last week that travelers from red list countries will not be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom, and only British and Irish nationals, as well as those who have UK residence rights, will be allowed to enter the country.
At the moment, it has been reported that international students are not categorized as having UK residence rights; nevertheless, this has been opposed by the UK Council for Student Affairs (UKCSA). The latter pointed out that international students who have a valid visa might belong to this category.
Earlier, the higher education COVID-19 operational guidance highlighted that international students travelling to the United Kingdom will have to undergo quarantine for ten days regardless of their vaccination status. According to the guidance, the cost of quarantine will have to be covered by travelers while students have to book the quarantine package before their trip to the UK.
“The cost of quarantining in a hotel will be borne by the traveller. Students must book the managed quarantine package in advance of travelling. All red-list travellers will be accommodated,” the guidance stressed.
The following 11 African countries are currently on UK’s red list:
- South Africa
Meanwhile, Nigeria was added to the UK’s red list on December 6. Those traveling to the UK from the above-listed countries are required to pay £2,280 at their expense, and if the latter do not comply with the quarantine requirement, they will be fined £10,000.
Most recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a COVID-19 plan B to curb the spread of the Omicron, and the new measures include using vaccine passports, returning to work from home and wearing masks outdoors.