Matt Hancock 'not ruling out' ban on university students going home for Christmas
25 September 2020, 07:56
The Health Secretary has refused to rule out taking the dramatic step in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is 'not ruling out' a ban on university students going back home for Christmas.
The comment comes after 600 students at Glasgow University were ordered to self-isolate after 120 tested positive for coronavirus.
When asked whether students could be asked to remain in their university towns over Christmas, the Health Secretary told the BBC that he had "learned not to rule things out".
He continued to explain: "I don't want to have a situation like that and I very much hope we can avoid it.
"We have said throughout that our goal is to suppress the virus, whilst protecting the economy and protecting education.
"And protecting people in education whether it's school or university is obviously critical as is protecting the economy."
Speaking of universities, Mr Hancock said they are "working very closely with them to try to make sure the students are safe", but that they can "also get their education".
The Health Secretary went on to say about the potential ban: "This is not our goal, I don't want to leave you with the expectation - but we have to work on all contingencies at the moment."
Speaking on universities, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said that universities have been given a "clear request not to send students home in the event of an outbreak, so as to avoid spreading the virus across the country".