Both of Dundee’s universities have urged their students to follow government guidance if they want to travel home for Christmas.
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government announced plans to test all students who want to go home for the Christmas holidays for Covid-19 from the beginning of December.
Universities are also being asked to stagger their end-of-terms and students are being asked to only leave their accommodation for essential reasons in the two weeks leading up to the holidays.
A spokesman for Dundee University said: “It is our sincere hope that all students and staff who wish to return home around the Christmas break will be able to do so, safely and within the Covid-19 guidelines.
“We welcome the guidance from the Scottish Government and are now working to put all the arrangements in tests for voluntary testing for students.”
An email has also been sent out to students at the university saying it “strongly recommends” taking the tests, and to say students will be tested twice on or near the university campus.
Students have also been told to expect more online teaching towards the end of term to help them stick to social distancing in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break.
A spokesman for Abertay University also said: “The university is following the national guidance set out by the Scottish Government on arrangements surrounding the Christmas break, working closely with local partner institutions and NHS public health colleagues.”
The plans for mass testing of students was announced by Richard Lochhead, minister for further and higher education, who also said students who stay at university over the holidays will be well supported.
He said: “Covid-19 is a challenge for all of us, our students included.
“We have all worked hard to support students in gaining an education this term, and like everyone else we have learnt and adapted as we have progressed.
“Our challenge is to look after the wellbeing of our students by enabling them to return home, while at the same time keeping them, their loved ones and communities safe.
“Testing will play a key role – but only a limited one.
“My message to students is ‘thank you for your efforts, and please keep doing all you can to keep yourself and others safe’.
“I have no doubt the majority of students will want to act responsibly, and will follow the measures that will be set out.”
Matt Crilly, Scotland president at the National Union of Students, has also urged the Scottish Government to provide a clear strategy for students returning to university in January following this week’s announcement.
Meanwhile, Saffron-Louise Cook, vice president of communications at Dundee University Students’ Assocation said she would urge all students to follow official advice.
“We want to make sure the students choosing to return home for the winter break do so safely. Following the guidance will help protect them and others,” she said.
“Taking a test will give students peace of mind when they are travelling home for the winter break. There will be clear support for any student who must go into isolation due to a positive test.
“The hope is that students will have enough time to isolate, re-take a test and travel home.”