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Coronavirus / Students’ staggered return to uni to be extended

A third Covid vaccine, meanwhile, has been approved for use in the UK

First minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Scottish Government

THE STAGGERED return to term-time accommodation and study for university students has been pushed back in light of the rise in coronavirus cases.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that for the majority of students online learning will remain in place until at least the end of February.

“That means if you are a student you should stay at home rather than travelling back to your campus or term-time accommodation,” she said.

Sturgeon added that arrangements will be different for those on a practical placement, such as nursing.

Colleges will follow the level guidance for their local authority area.

The Scottish Greens have said the government must “compel universities and private student accommodation providers to cancel rent for as long as students are being told not to return to campus”.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart also said: “News today that online learning will continue throughout February also means many will be stuck paying for student accommodation or private housing they can’t use.

“The government should ensure these students are treated fairly and are supported with a proper rebate. Many of them have made huge sacrifices to keep others safe, they should not be punished financially for doing so.”

A third Covid vaccine, meanwhile, has been approved for use in the UK.

The UK government has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

However, supplies are only expected to arrive in the spring.

It is said to work in a similar way to the Pfizer vaccine.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021