Coronavirus information and guidance

Travel advice for students


Before you depart

International travellers should complete a locator form 48-hours prior to arrival in the UK. Students should expect there may be spot checks at the border by Border Force, who may impose fines on travellers who cannot produce this paperwork.

You must prepare by reading NHS travel guidance. We also suggest you check the TravelHealthPro website for additional travel advice and read the safer air travel guidance on sensible precautions and steps to take during travel. Consider your own circumstances and health, and remember you will need to wear a face covering on flights within the UK. It is recommended that you pack suitable face coverings in your hand luggage for use on your onwards travel to St Andrews. 

Please make sure you are familiar with the latest quarantine advice for travellers:

  • Those travelling from any of the countries the UK Government has rated as ‘green’, will not be required to self-isolate upon arrival in Scotland.
  • The quarantine requirement is also lifted for countries on the ‘amber’ list that have a prevalence below or not significantly higher than Scotland.

This advice should be checked regularly, as government advice is kept under review and may be subject to change. Breaching self-isolation requirements could result in a fixed penalty notice of £480.

All international students must ensure they have a UK SIM for their mobile or they will not be able to access the NHS for healthcare on arrival.

The Directorate of the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health at the Scottish Government have requested that all entrant students under 25 years of age ensure that they have a Meningitis ACWY immunisation before arrival at University. In addition, you should also have had two doses of MMR vaccine to protect from Measles, Mumps and Rubella. If not then you should contact your health practitioner to arrange this before leaving to come to St Andrews.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and are an international student, it is essential that you check with your health practitioner that any medication you are currently taking is available here in the UK.  For general enquiries, please contact the Student Health Hub (studenthealth@st-andrews.ac.uk) or check out information on the student health webpage

International students not currently exempt from quarantine requirements, and who have accepted a place in University halls of residence, are invited to arrive from 24 August in order to complete a 14-day quarantine period before the start of orientation week on 7 September. This two-week stay will be free of charge. Food will be delivered to each student in their room during this quarantine period (at a cost of £70 per week). To request quarantine accommodation, please complete a quarantine application form as soon as possible. 

We are opening the residences for arrivals from 10am on Monday 31 August through to Sunday 13 September, and catered students can expect services to be operational. If you have accepted a catered contract, catering will not be provided until Monday 31 August. Students will have to book a date and time slot for arrival, which can be accessed via the e-induction on the pre-arrival section of the application form once an offer is accepted. There are limited numbers for each date and time slot, please ensure you select this as soon as possible. If you are an international student who requires to quarantine, you do not need to book an arrival slot once you have returned a quarantine application form.

Remember to pack any library books due for return. Due dates have been extended until 30 September, but fines will be incurred after that date. The Library will be accepting books at the drop-off point.

If planning accompanied travel, please be aware that only one parent or family member will be allowed to accompany you into your Hall of Residence, and they must have independent accommodation arrangements. If a family member wishes to book overnight accommodation in a hotel or guest house at St Andrews in September we strongly advise you to book well in advance as accommodation is in very high demand.  

Do not travel if you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, or have been advised to self-isolate. Contact the St Andrews Coronavirus Helpdesk on +44 (0)1334 46 4146 if you develop symptoms while travelling.


Arriving in the UK

Students arriving in the UK will be required to provide journey and contact details prior to travelling to the UK, and you may be required to self-isolate on arrival at your St Andrews accommodation for 14 days.

You should complete the UK government locator form 48 hours prior to your arrival. You should be prepared to show this documentation (printed or on your phone) when you arrive at the UK border.

The Government will use this information to contact you should you or someone you have travelled with develop symptoms and also to ensure that you are self-isolating, if required, for 14 days after arrival in the UK.

If contacted by the NHS Test and Protect tracing team while en route, you should travel directly to your St Andrews accommodation (ideally via private car) and self-isolate for 14-days from the date you last had close contact with the person who has tested positive or the date you were contacted (if the person’s details have been withheld), irrespective of whether you are displaying any symptoms or not. You can also contact the University’s Coronavirus Helpdesk for support on +44 (0)1334 46 4146. 

If you develop symptoms during isolation, you will need to stay in your accommodation for 7 days from the day that the symptoms began. You should do this even if this takes you over the 14-day isolation period.

Call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to be tested if you develop symptoms. If the test is negative, you must complete the full isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet.


Arriving in Scotland

The controls on Covid-19 in Scotland may differ from other parts of the UK. Please ensure you are familiar with the latest Scottish public health guidance. This centres around ‘FACTS’ as an acronym for:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces (including shops and public transport)
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two-metre physical distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms.

If contacted by the NHS Test and Protect tracing team while en route, you should travel directly to your St Andrews accommodation (ideally via private car) and self-isolate for 14-days from the date you last had close contact with the person who has tested positive or the date you were contacted (if the person’s details have been withheld), irrespective of whether you are displaying any symptoms or not.

If you develop symptoms during isolation, you will need to stay in your accommodation for 7 days from the day that the symptoms began. You should do this even if this takes you over the 14-day isolation period. 

Call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to be tested if you develop symptoms. If the test is negative, you must complete the full isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet.


Transport to St Andrews

To ensure students can arrive safely and securely in St Andrews, the University will be providing free transport to all students arriving at Edinburgh airport, Glasgow airport and Leuchars railway station. 

This will be available to all students arriving at one of these destinations from 24 August to 20 September 2020 inclusive.

If you are arriving out with this date range, please email the student transport team (transport@st-andrews.ac.uk) who will be able to assist you.

Pick up

You will be collected by either a bus or taxi, depending on your arrival date and time. Exact pick-up instructions will be confirmed by email to you in advance of your arrival.

All vehicles will have been cleaned before you board, and passenger capacity on board will be limited in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

It is compulsory in Scotland for all passengers to wear a face covering when travelling. You will not be allowed to board the bus or taxi without a face covering.

The University is currently liaising with Glasgow and Edinburgh airports to confirm what welcome arrangements we will be able to have in place. We will update as soon as we have any further detail; however, we will as a minimum have a person at the airport to meet you and direct you to your transport.

Drop-off points

You will be taken directly to your University hall of residence or private accommodation.

If you are renting private accommodation out with St Andrews, the University will arrange transport directly to your home address. This may involve a change of transport (for example, bus to St Andrews and then taxi to home address).

Journey information

  • Arrival at Edinburgh airport
    The journey from Edinburgh will take approximately one hour. Please see further information for passengers arriving at Edinburgh airport.

  • Arrival at Glasgow airport
    The journey from Glasgow will take approximately two hours. Please see further information for passengers arriving at Glasgow airport.

  • Arrival at Leuchars railway station
    The journey from Leuchars will take approximately 15 minutes. There are limited facilities available at Leuchars station, so we would advise you use the services on the train before arriving at Leuchars.

Coaches and cars will be unable to stop on route, so please ensure you have taken a comfort break, have water, food and any other items you require for the journey before boarding.

Travelling with others

If you are travelling with another passenger, such as a parent or guardian, the University will arrange transport for you and your passengers. There will be a small charge for any passengers.

If you will be travelling with more than two other passengers, please email the student transport team who will be able to assist you further (transport@st-andrews.ac.uk).

Passengers will also be taken directly to their accommodation.

Please be aware transport is only being arranged for the journey to St Andrews. Any passengers who will be returning home will require to book their own transport for the return journey. The student transport team can provide advice on how to arrange this. 

Book your transport

If you have any questions, please contact transport@st-andrews.ac.uk.


Arriving in St Andrews

Please have full consideration and respect for St Andrews residents and our surrounding community. The permanent population of St Andrews is approximately 8000 people and around 1000 of these residents are over eighty years old.

The incidence of Covid-19 in Fife has been low. You can monitor daily Covid-19 positive cases by Health Board and Local Authority on the desktop daily dashboard or mobile daily dashboard.

We must remain conscious of the vulnerability of our elderly population, and take every opportunity to shield them and support their access to services.

Steps you can take to keep St Andrews safe: 

  • Ensure you wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.
  • Observe guidance on physical distancing.
  • Pay attention to local guidance, including one-way systems in shops and requests that customers avoid shopping in groups.
  • When moving around town consider whether and how you will avoid touching surfaces that others have touched and how you will practise good hygiene. You might want to carry hand sanitiser and a bag for used tissues.
  • While you may wish to travel to St Andrews by private vehicle, please do not keep a car in St Andrews unless absolutely necessary (e.g. because you have a disability or are living in remote rented accommodation), to limit pressure in terms of access and parking.
  • Consider wearing gloves or apply additional cleaning measures (such as using personal hand sanitiser or wipes) when using public facilities and businesses.
  • Think local and support the local economy by shopping with local businesses where possible. The Love St Andrews Marketplace app provides a marketplace where our local businesses can offer delivery and click and collect services.  
  • Businesses and local facilities may be operating reduced services. Check in advance, and ensure you’re aware of any time slots reserved for elderly and vulnerable customers.  
  • Check on elderly neighbours and be mindful that they may be isolating.
  • Consider volunteering opportunities.

The University also recognises that social restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government may lead to an increase in outdoor gatherings in gardens and on beaches. We ask that you remain respectful to your neighbours at all times – ensuring noise pollution is limited, behaviour is respectful and that you clean up after yourselves.

By following this advice, you can make a significant contribution to the safety and wellbeing of students and our wider community. Students who repeatedly fail to follow Government guidance, or who fail to show respect to our community, should expect the University to investigate as a matter of non-academic misconduct.