Loughborough is preparing to welcome university students back to town following months of preparations to make the return safe and Covid-secure.
Charnwood Borough Council says a range of measures have been introduced for students including socially distanced arrival arrangements, the operation of household bubbles, some online learning and social distancing measures at university facilities.
Students are also asked to follow seven golden rules set by the university to protect themselves, staff and the wider community.
The university has been working with Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire County Council Public Health and Public Health England.
The bulk of students return from September 26 when Freshers’ Week will include a series of virtual and Covid-secure events on campus for students in smaller groups. Government guidance will be followed.
Charnwood Borough Council has also been giving advice to pubs in Loughborough and reminding them of the need to ensure guidance is being followed. Landlords of student properties have also been offered advice and support by the Council.
Councillor Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, said: “The number of Covid-19 cases has risen locally and nationally and that’s why everyone has a role to play in tackling the virus.
“Significant steps have been taken by Loughborough University and other agencies to create a safe and welcoming environment for the students. Now it is up to them to play their part and follow the guidance put in place to keep everyone safe.
“We are genuinely looking forward to the students returning to town as they are an integral part of Loughborough.
“As well as all the Covid guidance we also want students to remember to look after their property and we can’t forget the bins – please read the information you have been provided with and place the correct waste out and make sure you take them in after.”
The University has also warned students that house parties which breach government guidance will be subject to immediate disciplinary action. Students living in a property where a house party is held face being suspended from campus for 14 days and could be banned for the rest of the academic year for repeat offences.
Richard Taylor, chief operating officer at the university, said: “Over the summer we have worked hard to prepare for the new academic year and we have made campus as Covid-secure as possible.
“We have communicated extensively with staff and students so they know what to expect and we have made it clear that a return to campus comes with a responsibility to observe the rules to protect the university and wider community of which we are part.”
Insp Mark Botte, police commander for Charnwood, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the student population back to the borough, clearly term time looks a lot different this year.
“Please be assured we are here to support all students and would ask that students adhere to Covid legislation and local guidance and keep themselves and others safe.”