The Home Office has released updated guidance to deal with individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Tier 4 students affected by the coronavirus restrictions
Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning, however if they are forced to due to the current exceptional circumstances, this will not be considered a breach of sponsor duties.
If a student has remained in the UK with a guardian or chosen to return home overseas, but wants to continue their current studies via distance learning, this will be permitted and sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship in these circumstances. If a student has permanently withdrawn from, or formally deferred, their studies, the usual reporting requirements apply.
If a new international student has already been issued a visa but is unable to travel due to restrictions, they are permitted to undertake distance learning and sponsorship does not have to be withdrawn.
New international students who have not yet applied for a visa but wish to commence distance learning are able to do so without sponsorship.
These arrangements apply initially until 31 May, by which date they will be reviewed.