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The Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney has warned that, given the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, students could be told to not return home at Christmas, as “if the virus is not contained then we may not be able to support the return of students to their homes.”
To prevent a similar situation, England is looking at whether rapid tests could be used to allow more than a million students to travel home from their term-time accommodation. UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has also proposed ending in-person teaching early to create a two week buffer ahead of the holidays in order to minimize risk.
Professor Wendy Barclay, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has warned that the only way to contain the spread of the virus across the UK is by implementing a full lockdown, similar to the ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales. In a conversation with Times Radio, Barclay praised the success of the lockdown as “enough to turn the tide and get the virus back under control,” while “none of the other actions seem to have done that.”
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