Heading Home For The Holidays


As per the government guidelines, students who are heading home for the holidays are being encouraged to travel during the ‘student travel window’ from the 2nd to the 9th of December. This is to reduce the chance that you are bringing Covid-19 back to your families by traveling as soon as possible after the national lockdown. 

For the latest BU testing updates check the university website.


Do I Need a Test?

In order to further reduce the likelihood of students traveling with Covid-19, BU is offering testing to all students between the 1st and 9th of December. Testing is voluntary, but highly encouraged to provide your families with a level of security.

you are encouraged to get tested unless:

  • You have Covid-19 symptoms: Do not come to campus if you have symptoms. Stay at home and book a test through regular Test and Trace
  • You are currently self isolating: If you are currently self isolating because you have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, continue to do so. You can travel immediately after your period of self isolation is complete.
  • You have tested positive in the last 90 days: BU is discouraging students who have had COVID-19 in this time period from taking the university tests, as you are unlikely to test positive again.
  • You aren’t planning on traveling home: These tests are designed to provide security for students traveling to see family over the holiday period. If you are staying at your current accommodation over Christmas then you shouldn’t need to get tested unless you develop symptoms. In which case you can receive a test through normal Test and Trace.

Preparing For The Test

The first thing you need to do is check when your tests are available. In order to reduce crowds, you will have a specific time where you can head in for both your test and your retest based on your course and year. It is recommended that you get tested twice within three days, so you will have two time slots to come in on. You can find these here.

If for some reason you cannot attend your test or retest, you can request a different time through the Estate Help Desk


Going in For Your Test

You will need to bring:

A facemask to wear in the facility, your student ID and your mobile phone or other device to register once you arrive. 

It will be free for students to travel on all UNIBus services between the 1st and the 9th of December. There will also be extra buses running to help you get to the testing site. Check the UNIBUS timetable to plan your trip.  

The testing facility will be in the sports hall on Talbot Campus, accessible through the Student Centre (SUBU building). To allow for social distancing, the Student Centre will be closed for other activities during this time period, but the rest of campus remains open. When you arrive, you’ll need to register online before you can take your test.

The tests that will be provided are the rapid, lateral flow device (LFD) tests. You will be able to self administer, with the help of staff close at hand. This involves taking a swab from your mouth and nose. Check out this NHS video to see exactly what you’ll be asked to do.

Traveling Home

You should receive the results of your test in about two hours, no later than 24 hours. To allow students to travel home during this period, the government has advised that all face to face classes be finished by the 9th of December.

If both your tests are negative, then you are encouraged to travel home as soon as you can. If either of your tests are positive, you need to inform AskBU and follow the government guidelines on self isolation

If you are an international student you need to check the country specific advice on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website or from your Embassy before making travel plans. Many countries require a negative test before travel and are unlikely to accept your university LFD test.  

Remember to follow all public transportation rules when traveling in order to stay safe. Have a merry holiday season!


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