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Find alternative quarantine arrangement for international students: UK unis

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UK universities and providers are worried quarantine hotels will not be sufficient to host students from red list countries. Source: Ludovic Marin/AFP

UK private providers and universities are calling for alternative quarantine arrangements for incoming international students. They worry quarantine hotels will not be sufficient to host students from red list countries, said The PIE News.

According to their report, arrangements for September remain unclear as the sector and government try to decide how to handle the coming influx of students. Currently, before arriving in England, incoming travellers must book a managed quarantine hotel within a 14-day period before arrival. According to Gov.uk, the rate for one adult in one room for 10 days (11 nights) is 1,750 pounds. 

University Living founder Saurabh Arora told The PIE News that purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is willing to quarantine students from red-list countries. “Many of our accommodation partners, especially in the UK and Australia, have gone on record and stated that they have the capacity to do so,” he said. Arora added that a few UK universities and PBSA representatives mentioned that they have made it known to the authorities that they are willing to allow international students to quarantine at their managed accommodations, with all protocols set by the government.

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Accommodation providers believe they have the capacity to quarantine international students. Source: Daniel Leal Olivas/AFP

James Pitman, managing director of development for the UK and Europe at Study Group, projects that the UK could potentially see some 50,000 students from India, which is currently on the country’s red list of countries. If India continues to be on the UK’s red list come September, Pitman believes there might not be enough quarantine hotels for students, while the cost could also be a major hindrance.

A department of health and social care spokesperson, however, told the portal that “the government has thousands of hotel rooms available to meet any further demand” and “ongoing agreements with a number of hotels moving into the summer” but would not provide exact figures on capacity. “We closely monitor the data and if we need to increase, decrease or extend hotel capacity, we will do so,” they said.