Every year, thousands of students pack up from Sheffield University and head home for Christmas break. After exams and with a big holiday ahead, it's the most happily anticipated travel events of the year. It is also one of the most dangerous. With roads in icy conditions and so many joining in travel, this time of year is usually when we share a few helpful cold-weather travel safety tips.
Needless to say, you should still dress warmly and drive carefully on your way home. But this year, students need to exercise even greater caution. Schools are natural places for viruses to swap and healthy young adults are among the most likely to shake off a symptomless or low-somptom case of COVID. But as we have seen, coming home from a populated place can put less robust family members at risk. Parents and grandparents may be particularly susceptible.
When travelling home this year, it's important to take precautions to keep your family and yourself safe. To accommodate the student Christmas migration and to reduce the risk. the PM has issued a few easy policies.
Remote Exams for Early Isolation
Sheffield classes are recommended to switch all learning to online methods by December 9, including any pre-Christmas exams. This should give students time to complete an isolation period before they travel home for Christmas break. Considering that the most recent 4-week restriction ended on 2 December, online learning and exams should have coincided with the restrictions to help students remain safely isolated. The good thing about COVID control is that 10 days in isolation is a good way to assure that those without symptoms are safe to travel.
By learning online before you depart for home, you can take some time ahead of travel for isolation safety. In this time, try to have contact with as few people as possible.
Pack and Prep Your Sheffield Housing
In all the fuss over COVID safety, don't forget the usual winter break safety tips. If you have a house or apartment, take all the right steps to keep the taps warm and the doors locked while you're gone. If you're not coming back, turn in your student housing keys.
Before you go, clear out the fridge so nothing spoils while you're gone. Make sure all the windows are locked and turn off the lights or set up burglar prevention before you lock the door on your way out.
Pack the car for a cozy road trip and minimise the stops you make with other people nearby. Take extra care to drive safely on icy roads on your way home. Which takes us to the next tip.
The Student Travel Window
The national travel restriction is being conditionally lifted for students travelling home for Christmas break. To accommodate this and minimise the virus spread risk in the process, the Student Travel Window was defined.
Between 3 December and 9 December, students are encouraged to prepare and drive home carefully after completing final exams. This is the Student Travel Window and students are advised to take advantage of it. You may still be able to drive home outside of this window but are more likely to be subject to travel restrictions.
Sheffield students whose families are from Ireland, Scotland, Whales, or further away should first follow local Sheffield travel advisements, then follow the advisements of your destination region.
Pre-Travel COVID Tests
COVID testing will be provided to Sheffield students based on availability and need. Non-symptomatic students are encouraged to get tested a few days before they plan to leave for home. This will give you the best possible chance of not spreading asymptomatic COVID to your family and nearby loved ones over the Christmas holiday.
You can also choose to be tested a second time three days after the first testing to confirm that you really are not carrying the virus. Students who have symptoms can wait the recommended isolation period before going in for their first test.
10-Day Isolation for Safety
COVID without ongoing symptoms will run its course in 10 days or less. This means that self-isolating for 10 days is a great way to ensure that you are safe to spend time with new people at no risk of getting them sick from potential university mixing and exposure. The good news is that it doesn't quite matter where you isolate, as long as you isolate for 10 days before meeting at-risk family members.
For example, learning online and taking remote exams before travel can help you isolate before the student travel window. If you test positive but are not symptomatic, you can safely self-isolate for 10 days and then get another test to see if it is safe to travel home for Christmas.
Students are also advised to limit their contact with others during the first 10 days after arriving home and may want to self-isolate carefully at the beginning of their Christmas break at home.
Driving Safe on Icy Roads
Finally, we'd like to remind all students to be extremely careful when driving on the roads on your way home. The ice, snow, and other poor weather have a way of making the roads treacherous. After all your effort to go home COVID safe, you certainly don't need a spin-out on a country when driving home! Take precautions and drive safely on winter roads. Have your care fully checked out and approved by a mechanic. Change the tires if your tires are bald and ensure that your car's cabin heater is working just fine to keep you warm on the road.
Sheffield students are all sharing a special concern this year of keeping the family safe from potential COVID spread. We can all do our part by respecting the travel restrictions, student travel window, and provided testing to help along the way. Here at Claypenny, we're doing all we can to help students both isolate and travel safely during the Christmas holidays. Sheffield students with questions about housing safety, the winter break, or how to make it safely home should feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.Share