St Andrews University students asked to go into lockdown

Students have been urged to stay within their households from 7pm on Friday.

Students at the University of St Andrews have been asked to go into “voluntary” lockdown this weekend amid a rise in coronavirus cases across the country.

Following the First Minister’s warning of another national lockdown, Principal Sally Mapstone has asked students to stay within their households from 7pm on Friday.

She urged them “not to party, not to go to bars or restaurants, and to avoid mixing with any groups outside their own households”.

All events planned for this weekend have also been postponed including all sports activity and society activity.

Principal Mapstone issued an emergency announcement to students on Friday afternoon.

She said it was “very clear that rates of Covid infection were surging again” and that another national lockdown was “very likely” on its way.

Her statement read: “I am writing to all of our students to ask you to please observe a voluntary lockdown this weekend, effective from 7pm this evening.

‘I appreciate that this request will appear to some of you to be premature, but a hallmark of this pandemic has been that, as a society, we have acted too slowly in the past, and thousands of people have died unnecessarily as a result.’

Principal Sally Mapstone

“This means that I am asking you all to remain in your rooms as much as possible, not to party, not to go to bars or restaurants, and to avoid mixing with any groups outside your own households. Catering will continue as normal in halls of residence.

“I appreciate that this request will appear to some of you to be premature, but a hallmark of this pandemic has been that, as a society, we have acted too slowly in the past, and thousands of people have died unnecessarily as a result.

“Early action saves lives, and we have an opportunity as one community to take action to protect ourselves, and those with whom we share this town.

“We acted swiftly in March when the pandemic first hit Fife, and the situation we face now is just as serious.”

She added: “We will be keeping this situation under close review all weekend, and I will keep you informed of any further measures that may be necessary.”