THE idea of students in Wales having to self-isolate if they want to be with their families this Christmas, has not been ruled out, said education minister Kirsty Williams.

She addressed the issue at today's Welsh Government coronavirus briefing, following discussions with other UK education leaders.

Ms Williams said colleagues from "across the United Kingdom" were looking at a range of options to ensure students can safely return home.

The coronavirus incubation period - the delay between an individual becoming infected and developing symptoms - that students might be asked to complete in self-isolation, is a maximum of 14 days.

"Arrangements for Christmas are a priority to us," she said.

"We are discussing with the other UK governments how we can ensure students will be able to return safely home.


"We are looking at a range of options to allow that to happen, and self-isolation is an active consideration.

She said they had to be "mindful" of the health of students, their parents or carers, and the wider community.

But she said governments would be meeting again "as four UK nations" next week to discuss progress.

Yesterday, health minister Vaughan Gething said he believed it was too early to know if people will be able to mix over Christmas.

"The problem is that in terms of forecasting where we are going to be at the end of the year, that is a bit of a mug's game,” he said,

"We can see that without action our NHS faces a real risk of being overwhelmed, and that informs our reasoning for the fire-break.

"But to forecast the exact number of people you will be able to see within your own home over Christmas... I do not think that is a reasonable thing to try to forecast because frankly, I would be making it up.”