University students must be allowed to return home to their families at Christmas, Labour has said, amid fears that coronavirus outbreaks could keep young people in halls when term ends.
Thousands of students are currently confined to their rooms following a surge in cases at institutions including Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.
Matt Hancock last week declined to rule out asking students to stay on campus over Christmas, after Government scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport said the measure may be needed to stop the virus spreading to older relatives.
“It is unthinkable that students will be locked in their rooms and unable to return home to spend Christmas with their families,” Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, has said.
“The government must promise that this will not happen, and work with universities to enable every student to access tests so that they can travel home safely.”
Outbreaks have forced students at some universities to self-isolate.