English UK's statement following the government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England
23 February 2021

English UK's statement following the government's roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England

On 22 February 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced how the current lockdown in England will be eased, starting with the return to face-to-face education from 8 March. The devolved administrations are setting out how lockdown will be eased in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland along broadly similar directions of travel with varying timetables. 

English UK member centres will assess their individual circumstances and review their risk assessments when deciding when and how to return to face-to-face learning. This will not be the same date for all centres. 

English UK member centres will operate safe learning and working environments for students and staff in accordance with Covid-19 secure guidance, which English UK will update in line with published government guidance. 

Member centres are continuing to offer remote or hybrid learning to support students who are self-isolating or who are unable to study in a classroom setting. They are facilitating working from home for non-student facing staff, following government guidance. 

We welcome the government's objective to see a safe and sustainable return to international travel. The current border restrictions have serious cost and logistical implications for students travelling to the UK for English language courses. The restrictions make it impossible for most students to travel and damage already fragile market confidence. 

We are calling on the UK government to work with the UK ELT and wider tourism industries to develop a plan to reopen travel that both protects public health while allowing sectors reliant on inbound international travel to recover.

If there is little recovery ahead of the crucial summer season, these sectors will face a perpetual winter, and many businesses will not make it through.  

The government should recognise the devastating loss of revenue experienced by UK ELT since the outbreak of the pandemic by providing tailored and ongoing financial support to help businesses survive this crisis.

The steps out of lockdown will be driven by the UK government and devolved administrations' assessments of the trajectory of the pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine programme. English UK continues to monitor the situation across the UK and will support member centres in their response.  

The full roadmap document is available here. A simplified table of the steps is available on pages 47-48.

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