Covid tests for students in England, so they can go home safely for Christmas, could begin on 30 November, according to a letter from the universities minister to vice-chancellors.
A week of mass testing is proposed that overlaps with the end of the lockdown – between 30 November and 6 December.
The letter, seen by the BBC, promises a fast turnaround for tests and “results within an hour”.
The aim is to stop students from spreading the virus as they return home.
The first week of December could then become the “window” for many students to leave university for the Christmas holidays, with face-to-face teaching expected to finish earlier than usual this term.
But those who test positive will have to take another test and, if found to be infectious, will have to stay in isolation.
Hydroxychloroquine does not benefit adults hospitalised with COVID-19, a new study by a major US research centre has found.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sought to test whether the malaria and arthritis drug – which has long been touted by US President Donald Trump – works to treat coronavirus.
Between April and June, researchers randomly and equally divided shots of hydroxychloroquine and of a placebo to 479 coronavirus patients in 34 hospitals.
Participants, which included 212 women as well as 290 Hispanic and Black people, were aged 57 on average.
Health outcomes were assessed two weeks after the first dose.
This assessment found roughly 32% of the hydroxychloroquine group was able to return to normal lives compared with 29% of placebo participants.
Just fewer than 48% of people from the former pool were discharged from hospital 28 days after starting treatment and only one per cent fewer in the latter group were released by the same date.
Of the 479 participants, 25 from each group died.
Lead researcher of the ORCHID trial, Dr Wesley Self, concluded there were no major differences among groups.
“The finding that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for the treatment of COVID-19 was consistent across patient subgroups and for all evaluated outcomes, including clinical status, mortality, organ failures, duration of oxygen use, and hospital length of stay,” the emergency medicine physician said.