In an email to the student body, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Sally Mapstone asked students to observe a "voluntary restriction" on visiting bars and restaurants. This is in line with Universities Scotland guidance. This comes as five more positive Covid-19 cases were confirmed in St Andrews. The voluntary ban will continue for the duration of the weekend, after which, the situation will be re-assessed.
On Thursday 24 September 2020, in an email to the student body, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Sally Mapstone announced that the University of St Andrews had recorded five additional cases of COVID-19, and urged students to observe a voluntary ban on visiting bars and other hospitality venues.
The new measures do not include students who work in the hospitality industry, who were encouraged to continue working.
The observance of a voluntary restriction on student visits to pubs, bars, and restaurants will continue for the duration of the weekend and while not required, both the University of St Andrews and the Scottish government strongly suggested that students take notice and do their best to slow the spread of the virus, which has seen a recent uptick particularly amongst university students.
This includes the University of St Andrews, which has confirmed 12 cases of COVID-19 since returning in September.
Of these twelve cases, Principal Mapstone said that “10 students and two members of staff” had contracted the virus.
On the prevalence of COVID-19 within the University of St Andrews, Principal Mapstone provided an update on the total number of cases recorded, as well as their origin:
She said, “In St Andrews, a further five cases of COVID have been confirmed in the University community this week. This is in addition to the four cases about which I notified you on Monday.
“Of the five new cases notified this week, two are sporadic and three are linked to community transmission.”
Professor Mapstone acknowledged students’ inclination on visiting the various beaches located close to the town.
She said, “I know that the beach is a popular place for students to meet and you should absolutely continue to do that if you wish, providing you respect the six people from two households condition, remain clearly physically distanced from other groups, and please make sure you clean up after you have been there.”
Furthermore, the library will remain open but with “limited activities” over weekends.
The University hopes that this guideline will be lifted after the weekend; however, this is dependent on case numbers and students will be informed of any further measures as soon as possible next week.
In a Tweet, Jason Leitch, national clinical director for Scotland, wrote about the impact of recent national restrictions.
He said, “Was asked last night whether students in halls and flats can go back to parents’ homes. To clarify, they are a separate household. There are exceptions, eg caring responsibilities, but the law is clear: they can’t meet indoors with another household – even mum and dad. Sorry.”