I have spent the majority of my course study back at home in the US and am so happy to say I am finally back in Manchester!
I have been back for a few weeks now and it is so great to be able to finally meet my coursemates and other UoM students in person. Over this past weekend, AMBS student reps hosted an outdoor picnic for us to all get to know each other; it was a beautiful afternoon well spent at Whitworth Park.
I have a few tips for those that will be travelling to the UK from an international country.
First: Traveling to the UK! Stay up to date with what is happening with the UK’s Covid travel restrictions. The quarantine requirements vary depending on the country when you travel to the UK. The uk.gov website details which countries are on the red list, green list, and amber list. I returned to the UK from an amber list country which meant I was required to provide a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours before I flew, quarantine for ten days, and take mail-in Covid tests on days 2 and 8 of my quarantine. But also, because I was from an amber list country, I had the option to take an optional day five opt out test, which means I took a Covid test on day 5 of my quarantine but once the test results came back negative, I was allowed to end my quarantine early, but I did still have to take my day 8 test as well!
Second: Make sure you know what the Covid restrictions are in the UK. As we all have seen, the Covid situation changes daily so you must remain current on what is happening. For example, England was originally aiming to be fully open with no restrictions by June 21, but this has now been delayed four weeks.
Third: Read the UK’s regulations for public gatherings. This ties in with my second tip, but I cannot stress it enough. As lockdown gradually eases, this means the capacity for indoor and outdoor gatherings changes. For example, right now, a maximum of six people from different households can eat indoors together and a group of thirty can meet outside. There are more guidelines on gatherings that you should read so that you can meet up with your friends safely and with ease! If you are planning to go out for a meal, I definitely recommend trying to book a table in advance.
All of this advice is based on my personal experiences dealing with Covid restrictions in the UK and travelling here; I highly recommend you read the full list of guidelines on the official gov.uk website. With study spaces at the University open and restrictions easing I’m so glad to be back in Manchester again enjoying the city and campus life. I hope some of this advice helps you as you plan your travels to Manchester!