Going home for Christmas? Here’s what you need to think of before leaving

30 Nov 2020
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Time for you to take a well-deserved break. And if that means going home for Christmas, there are just a few things to remember before you leave.

It’s time for you to take a well-deserved break.

When can I go home for Christmas?

In order to help keep everyone safe and protect lives, the Welsh, English and Scottish governments have asked all students to take a Covid-19 test before returning home. 

In England and Wales - unless you test positive or develop symptoms, the government is encouraging you to travel home between 3-9 December. In Scotland, you will be able to return home if you return two negative tests, taken five days apart. 

If your test comes back positive or you develop symptoms, you’ll need to complete your 10 days of self-isolation before travelling home. Please also tell us that you are self-isolating by using the ‘Register as self-isolating’ feature in the MyUnite app.

You can find out more about self-isolating while living with Unite Students by clicking here.

How can I get a test before leaving?

Testing of students is being coordinated by universities. You should have received an email from your university explaining how you can get a test before heading home for Christmas. In the interest of health and safety, please follow the advice from your university to the letter.

If you haven’t had an email from your university, please visit your institution’s website for more information. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the staff at your university if you have any questions.

How to move home safely

You should observe the government’s social distancing guidance and take note of the following advice when moving out for Christmas: 

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering in all communal areas inside our properties and on public transport, unless you can’t wear one because of medical reasons
  • Keep two metres away from anyone not in your household
  • Please only have one other person with you to help you move
  • You should not have anyone stay with you overnight

What should I do before I leave?

1) Lock your bedroom door

Your flat door locks itself but your bedroom door doesn't. Keep your private space private and lock the door on your way out.

2) Lock your windows and close your curtains

Make sure your room's just as you left it when you get back. Close the windows and draw the curtains for security. You don't want anything climbing or flying in.

3) Take the rubbish out

Our housekeepers don't empty the bins when they clean the kitchen, and a bin full of rubbish will smell terrible by the time you're back. Do a quick sweep of your fridge too, and dispose of anything that’ll go bad whilst you’re away.

4) Switch off the lights

Help the environment by switching all your lights off – and don't forget your LED tea lights.

5) Unplug your appliances

Most electrical items carry on using energy even after you've switched them off. Unplug everything – except the fridge/freezer and oven of course.

6) Wash your bedding

Absolutely nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a freshly-made bed. Get a final wash done before you go and avoid the rush for the machines when everyone's back.

Staying at uni over Christmas?

If you’re planning to stay at uni throughout the Christmas break, your university may not ask you to take a Covid-19 test like other students. However, if you’re showing symptoms, you should still request a test through the NHS.

While you stay with us, we’ll continue to provide you with a safe and secure home. As part of that, we’ll be supporting you in the same way that we have been for the past few months. Find out more about that here.

But how should you spend your time over the Christmas break? Here’s our advice on how to make the most of your holidays while staying at uni.

Remember, if you've got any questions, just ask your reception team – they're there to help you out.

It’s time for you to take a well-deserved break.
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Staff writer at The Common Room