THE University of Reading (UoR) has revealed its Christmas plans for students including when they can return home.

The government announced earlier this month that university students will be able to travel home to spend Christmas with their families once the national restrictions end on December 2.

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From December 3 to December 9, which will be known as the ‘student travel window’, students will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by universities.

The UoR has said face-to-face teaching will end on or before December 9 and all remaining teaching will be moved online until the end of term on December 11.

The university is advising students to return home within the 'travel window' as proposed by the government.

However it added this is providing they have not received a recent positive test result or have been told to self-isolate.

The university explained it is "still working on plans for mass-testing, but as testing will not be compulsory, it is difficult to say how many students will take up the offer of testing before returning home".

Figures from the university's Covid-19 dashboard dated Friday, November 20, show a total of 286 students and staff have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the academic year (September 28, 2020).

This includes cases that are no longer 'active'.

The UoR explained it has put various measures in place to protect its students and staff during the pandemic.

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A University of Reading spokesperson said: “We continue to work closely with local health authorities and partners to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among staff and students, and the wider community.

"We have been heavily involved in efforts to keep infection rates in Reading as low as possible, such as by helping increase testing capacity locally by hosting a walk-in centre on campus.

“We have put in place many changes on campus and in halls, including one-way systems and signage, and adapting areas like lecture theatres, the Library and cafes to allow social distancing.

"Consistent with transmission in the wider community, our case management experience shows transmission is largely within households, not through classrooms or the wider University community."

A house party was raided by police and organisers were fined £30,000 for breaking coronavirus restrictions on the eve of lockdown 2.0.

UoR students may have been involved in the party near campus.

The university explained: “Students have been regularly updated with the latest information on staying safe and behaving responsibly on campus and in the community.

"The vast majority have respected the rules.

"We have a range of disciplinary measures that we are taking against those found to be in breach of the rules, and we have issued a number of fines to students."

During the Christmas period, the university said a number of students might choose to stay on campus.

A spokesperson said: "A number of facilities, including catering outlets and support services, will still be available throughout the holidays for those who choose to stay."