End of term travel – including UK and international

Updated 15 December 2020

What if I need to travel after 9 December?

If you don’t travel during the student travel window then you must follow the government advice for travel and movement that applies to the area you are living in. Anyone who remains at university after 9 December will run the risk of having to undertake a period of isolation at university if they contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) or were identified as a contact of someone who had and would therefore be at risk of not being able to travel home in time for Christmas.

What guidance is there if I need to use public transport to travel home

If you are travelling from Leedsyou should follow the Coronavirus (covid-19): safer travel guidance for passengers and should book ahead wherever possible.

You should: 

  • wear a face covering unless exempt 
  • keep your distance from people from other households when you travel, where possible 
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly 
  • avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour 
  • download the NHS covid-19  app before they travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS covid-19 QR code posters 

What guidance is there if I need to use a private vehicle to travel home

If you are travelling by private vehicle you should try to avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household or support bubble and should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers to reduce the risk of transmission where this is not possible. 

What guidance is there for students who need to travel home outside the UK?

Students currently in the UK can return home, subject to restrictions on entry to the country in question.

You should check any restrictions in the country you are travelling to, and whether you will need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country.

You should also check whether you will need to self-isolate when you return to the UK. You should be aware that travel advice may change while you are away, and are advised to regularly check all relevant UK government guidance for updates, as well as advice from your own government.

If you need further advice about planning international travel or returning to Leeds, you can contact internationalwelcome@leeds.ac.uk.

Can I fly with a negative Lateral Flow Device test result?

Different countries may have different rules and these rules are changing. You must check with the airline or embassy and check the entry requirements for the destination country to confirm if you can travel with a negative LFD result.

I need proof of a negative test in order to travel home internationally – can the University supply this?

Some countries now require evidence that you have not tested positive for covid-19 before you can board a plane to travel there.

We recommend that you also contact your national embassy for advice and information on travelling home. You could also contact your airline to find out what is required from passengers in terms of certification when entering your home country.

This page provides details of the type of testing available from the University. The testing facilities provided by the University on campus may not meet the requirements necessary for international travel. It is not currently possible to get a test from the NHS if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus. You may need to search online for private covid-19 testing in Leeds.

How will Brexit affect EU/EEA/Swiss students travelling home for the holidays?

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student who intends to leave the UK for the Christmas break and return after 31 December 2020, we recommend you apply to EU Settlement Scheme straight away and take evidence of your pre/settled status, and other proof of residence such as a tenancy agreement, with you when you travel. For more information please read our Brexit information for current students.

If I have already booked a train ticket, will I have to pay additional fees to travel in the student travel window?

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that students who have already booked train tickets to travel home for Christmas before the announcement of the student travel window can now rebook their tickets to travel between 3 to 9 December without paying additional fees.

Students who bought an Advance ticket before 11 November for a date of travel after 9 December can now change their Advance tickets to travel during the window without paying a change of journey fee of up to £10. Flexible tickets such as Off Peak or Anytime can already be rebooked to another date without payment of an admin fee.

Are there any discounts available on travel during the travel window?

If you are travelling via coach during the travel window, you can get a 10% discount with National Express. You are able to make free amendments to existing bookings, with full refunds available for those that test positive.

If you are planning to travel via rail, LNER will offer some additional cheaper advance tickets on some of the quieter trains. The best service and fares can be found by searching on the Journey Planner, or by using the LNER App. If you don’t have a railcard then you can get a discount through Unidays.  Amendments to bookings can be made but there will be a fee, no refunds will be given.

You can save 50% on travel with TransPennine Express with a 16-25 railcard when you buy an Advanced Purchase ticket. Book on their app or website using the code TPEStudent.

Information is also available for students from CrossCountry trains and Northern Railway.

If you’d like to rent a car to travel over the winter break, see this student offer from Enterprise.

I’m currently on a work placement

If you are currently on a work placement and are planning to travel after the student travel window, you will need to follow the government guidance about arrangements for the area in which you are living. If you are undertaking paid employment as part of your course, for example, sandwich placements, you can continue in your employment beyond the 9 December. If you would like to go home before 9 December, you should speak with your employer.

I have a question that isn’t covered in the FAQs

If you have a question that isn’t covered by the FAQs above, then please let us know by using this Microsoft form.