Visa Crunch

Students To Get Assistance From The UK Universities, Cover Quarantine Costs Coming From Red-List Nations

The travel restrictions for international students coming to the United Kingdom (UK) are changed. If you are travelling from a red-listed country and are particularly worried about the recent UK hotel quarantine policy, then you may get assistance from your university to cover those costs.

A few universities have decided to offer to reimburse students travelling to the UK from these countries for the cost of the government-mandated quarantine. As the Omicron Covid-19 variant continues to spread in the European Union (EU), many countries have quickly closed their borders to travellers from affected countries, causing uncertainty for many international students who are about to start or resume their studies.

The government announced last week that visitors from any single red list country would be denied entry to the UK.

Visitors from these countries will have to pay a fee of £2,280 ($3,016) at their own expense. A breach of the quarantine may result in a fine of up to £10,000 ($13,223). To assist students impacted by this strategy, a number of UK universities have offered to reimburse the cost of hotel quarantine in part or in full.

This included Manchester University, Bath University, Exeter University, Loughborough University, Nottingham University, and Swansea University. All of the universities on the list have offered to cover the entire cost of hotel quarantine.

The University of Gloucestershire has decided to offer to reimburse students up to £1,210 (1,600.23) in part. Given the large number of international students affected by the policy, this move may prompt other UK universities to offer similar financial assistance.

According to a representative from the international higher education consulting firm SJ Rennie Consulting, failing to do so may result in an increase in postponements and withdrawals. “It is clear that some universities will cover quarantine costs but not all are going to do this,” the consultancy says. “There is also the challenge of whether the students will receive their visas in time and whether the UK universities will allow a period of online learning again. This is not popular in Nigeria and certainly not with any scholarship bodies that are funding students directly.”

To combat the spread of Omicron, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently imposed a Covid-19 “Plan B”. Among some of the additional measures is the return to home-based work, the wearing of masks in public, and the use of vaccine passes. This arrives after Johnson promised not to impose another round of Covid-19 lockdowns during the winter. After a rapid vaccination rollout, the majority of these restrictions were lifted in July.

Nigerian officials have called the United Kingdom’s travel restrictions on some southern African countries “travel apartheid”. They have emphasized the importance of a “global, non-selective approach” to combating the spread of the Omicron strain.

Accordingly, the WHO has alerted that blanket travel bans will not prevent the spread of the variant and may demoralize countries from sharing critical data. As of December 7, about 437 cases of the Omicron variant had been identified in the United Kingdom. According to scientists, it appears to be doubling “every two to three days”.

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Abhishek Shah

Abhishek Shah

I'm a final-year management student at NMIMS, Mumbai.

The power of words and their ability to affect others captivates me that's where my love for writing comes from. Content writing welcomes me with my own mind and gives wings to my thoughts. I'll today and forever love gaining insight by reading and writing and that's the reason I am called the father of scriptwriting in my circle.

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