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Keeping students and the community safe

The University of St Andrews has unveiled a detailed blueprint for students arriving in the town in the coming weeks to keep themselves and the local community safe during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Comprehensive advice will be made available to all new and returning students before they start their journey to St Andrews and is underpinned by a new compulsory module which all students will take before the new term starts.

The University will impress on students the importance of having full consideration and respect for St Andrews residents and the surrounding community.

A spokesperson for the University said: “The permanent population of St Andrews is approximately 8000 people and around 1000 of these residents are over eighty years old.

“We remain conscious of the vulnerability of our elderly population, and will do all we can to ensure a safe town environment and support their access to services.

“Our students know that they can make a very significant contribution to the safety and wellbeing of fellow students and our wider community. Any individual who repeatedly fails to follow government guidance, or fails to show respect for our community, should expect the University to investigate under our non-academic misconduct policy.

“We’ve been very closely engaged with our student community over the spring and summer and are confident they have the best interests of the town and their fellow students at heart. In many cases, our students are coming from countries who have a better record of containing the Covid threat than the UK, and are already very well-used to self-isolation protocols, mask-wearing and the importance of social responsibility in ensuring a safe environment for all.”

Detailed guidance being given to students before they arrive in St Andrews includes:

  • Ensure you wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.
  • Observe guidance on physical distancing.
  • Pay attention to local guidance, including one-way systems in shops and requests that customers avoid shopping in groups.
  • When moving around town consider whether and how you will avoid touching surfaces that others have touched and how you will practise good hygiene. Consider carrying hand sanitiser and a bag for used tissues.
  • While you may wish to travel to St Andrews by private vehicle, please do not keep a car in St Andrews unless absolutely necessary, to limit pressure in terms of access and parking.
  • Consider wearing gloves or apply additional cleaning measures (such as using personal hand sanitiser or wipes) when using public facilities and businesses.
  • Think local and support the local economy by shopping with local businesses where possible. The Love St Andrews Marketplace app provides a marketplace where our local businesses can offer delivery and click and collect services.
  • Businesses and local facilities may be operating reduced services. Check in advance, and ensure you are aware of any time slots reserved for elderly and vulnerable customers.
  • Check on elderly neighbours and be mindful that they may be isolating.
  • Consider volunteering opportunities.

Students in halls of residence who need to quarantine on arrival in the UK will be provided with free accommodation by the University for the two-week self-isolation period, and will also have a meals service to their rooms.

St Andrews will also re-establish its successful Covid Helpdesk for students and staff, providing fast advice and information, and a single point of contact.

Debbie MacCallum, Chair of Tourism St Andrews, welcomed the advice to students from the University. She said: “Tourism St Andrews and the Stay Safe Campaign are looking forward to welcoming the students back to St Andrews in the coming months. We are working closely with the University to ensure the message of the Stay Safe Campaign is shared widely with all students, which includes leaflets in the welcome packs for all new students in University accommodation.”

St Andrews Students’ Association President Dan Marshall said: “We are encouraging all students to familiarise themselves with the Scottish Government and University guidance before they travel to St Andrews and to adhere to it from day one.

“Our message is clear that, as students, we all have a responsibility to be respectful of and to protect our local community and closely following the guidance is a major part of that.”


Full advice to students returning to St Andrews is available on the University website.

Find out more on Stay Safe St Andrews.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Covid community response

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