The University of Cumbria says it’s looking at ways of getting its students home for the Christmas holidays.

The announcement has come after the Department for Education published guidance of the “student travel window” which comes into effect after the end of the four week coronavirus lockdown, on December 2.

It states that, from December 3 to 9, students will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by UK universities.

The window is designed to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission to family and friends at home.

A university spokeswoman said: “The Department for Education has published new guidance around the end-of-term plans for universities.

“We are now working through that guidance to ensure that we can give every student clear and accurate information about their programme of study for the rest of term and key information about returning home for Christmas.

“We know that being able to see friends or relatives over Christmas is important for students who wish to do so, and we are exploring the options for supporting our students to travel safely at the end of term in the way the Government requires.”

MP Michelle Donelan, universities minister, said: “We know this Christmas will feel different, and following this incredibly difficult year we are delivering on our commitment to get students back to their loved ones as safely as possible for the holidays.

“We have worked really hard to find a way to do this for students, while limiting the risk of transmission. 

“Now it is vital they follow these measures to protect their families and communities, and for universities to make sure students have all the support they need, especially those who stay on campus over the break.

Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said: “The mass movement of students across the country at the end of term is a really significant challenge.

“The measures will help minimise that risk and help students get home to their families as safely as possible for Christmas.

“It’s crucial students follow the guidance to protect their families and communities."