The culture secretary has defended students going back to university saying there were “clear guidelines” on coronavirus in place.
Oliver Dowden told the Andrew Marr show it was important students did not “give up a year of their life” by not going.
Labour has called on the government to consider pausing the return after Covid outbreaks meant thousands of students had to isolate in their accommodation.
A scientist who advises the government said the situation was “inevitable”.
Mr Dowden said: “Young people have paid a huge price during this crisis and I think it is only fair to try and get them back – we have got clear guidelines for them to follow.”
Prof Mark Woolhouse, who sits on the government’s pandemic modelling group SPI-M, said the situation was “entirely predictable” and had been modelled.
Labour shadow education secretary Kate Green told BBC Breakfast the government should consider pausing the start of term while an “effective, efficient testing system” was put in place, with students given a choice of learning from home if they felt safer there.
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