St Andrews University has unveiled a detailed blueprint for students arriving in the town over the coming weeks designed to keep themselves and the local community safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new compulsory module will impress on students the importance of respecting St Andrews residents and the surrounding community.
Any students found to be repeatedly flaunting government guidance could face disciplinary action.
Those in halls of residence who need to quarantine on arrival into the UK will be provided with free accommodation by the university for the two-week self-isolation period, and will have a meals service to their rooms.
A spokesman for St Andrews University said: “The permanent population of St Andrews is approximately 8,000 people and around 1,000 of these residents are over 80-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.”
The spokesman said the university had been communicating with the student community over the spring and summer and bosses were confident they would have the best interests of the town and their fellow students at heart.
He added: “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 advice on face covering in shops and on public transport; physical distancing; local measures such as one-way systems in shops and guarding against shopping in groups; and good hygiene practices.
Students are also being urged not to keep a car in St Andrews unless absolutely necessary, to limit pressure on access and parking.
St Andrews also plans to re-establish its successful Covid Helpdesk for students and staff, providing fast advice and information, and a single point of contact.
Debbie MacCallum, chairwoman of Tourism St Andrews, welcomed the advice.
She said: “We are working closely with the university to ensure the message of the Stay Safe Campaign is shared widely with all students including 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.”