University students in Lincoln will not yet face extra local “restrictions” on their liberties as they begin the new term, health bosses have said.
Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said students were beginning to arrive, but apart from some isolated cases so far, there had been no major outbreaks.
A series of outbreaks have been recorded in universities across the UK including Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Aberdeen. In response, some universities have banned their cohorts from attending parties or pubs.
Mr McGinty said students at the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste would be getting lots of advice around coronavirus as they moved into the area – including trying to avoid moving back to family homes too often to prevent risks to their families.
However, he said: “We’re certainly not planning on putting restrictions on the liberties of students that we’re not putting on the liberties of the rest of the public.
“Fundamentally the students can only present a risk to each other and to the local population if they don’t follow the rules.”
A testing centre is planned for the University of Lincoln site which will also be open to the general public.
Walk-ins will be allowed if space is available, however, booking is advised.
The location though has yet to be announced.
Mr McGinty accepted that students coming to university this year will get a “very different” experience to the norm due to the lack of freshers’ events.
“Some of the really big events and freshers party scenes and things that we might have been able to do when we went to university are not going to be available to them.
“It’s clear those kinds of big gatherings and events are not appropriate with COVID around, so they are going to have a different experience, but, you know, they are going to have to adapt to that as the rest of the population has had to adapt to life with coronavirus.”