Students at St Andrews University have been asked to observe a voluntary lockdown this weekend.
Principal Sally Mapstone has written to the students, asking them to “remain in your rooms as much as possible”.
She has also asked them not to party or go to bars and restaurants, and to avoid mixing with people outside their households.
In her “urgent and important message” to students, Ms Mapstone said she appreciated that some people may think her actions were “premature”.
image captionPrincipal Sally Mapstone said she was taking “pre-emptive and pro-active” action
But she said society had “acted too slowly in the past” and that thousands of people had died unnecessarily as a result.
“It is now very clear that rates of covid infection are surging again in various parts of this country, and it is very likely that we are very close to a form of further national lockdown,” she wrote.
“The first minister of Scotland has today spoken of the urgent need to interrupt the chain of transmission of the virus.
“In these circumstances, I am writing to all of our students to ask you to please observe a voluntary lockdown this weekend, effective from 7pm this evening.”
The principal said all events planned for this weekend would be postponed, including all planned sports activity, society activity and events at the Byre Theatre, main library and chapel.
Catering will continue as normal in halls of residence.
“I must stress that this is pre-emptive and proactive action,” she added.
“There is no evidence that the virus is surging in our community. Rather it is because as a country we are now in a very fast-moving phase where early intervention is key, and hours make a difference.
“We will be keeping this situation under close review all weekend, and I will keep you informed of any further measures that may be necessary. We expect further information and intervention from government over or just after the weekend.”
image captionAbout 50 students were cleared from a beach in St Andrews last weekend
Yazmin Taylor, from Kent, is a third-year student at St Andrews.
“I think it’s a good pre-emptive step,” she said.
“It’s not in reaction to something, it’s before the situation worsens. I think that’s the trend in Scotland – to act before the situation escalates.”
It is understood that the group was made up of students who were adhering to social distancing guidelines, and who left the area when requested.
“There’s 9,000 students here so I think that most students are following the rules,” Yazmin added.
Fourth year student Sabeeh Mirza, from Pakistan, said he had only just finished two weeks in quarantine.
“I understand the need, of course, and I’m glad that St Andrews is taking pre-emptive action. But giving us a two-hour notice to go into a complete lockdown, in my opinion, is quite unfair on the student population in general,” he said.
“If you look at the region, at least as far as I am aware, there has been no rise in cases whatsoever. I think it has lowest in Scotland. I think some things can be manged better.”
Dan Marshal, president of St Andrews Student Association, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme it was a welcome move.
image captionEleven Napier students have tested positive for Covid-19
“We’ve seen throughout this pandemic that it’s really important to take early action and that taking action early has generally avoided loss of life and people getting ill, but also has avoided more strict and longer-lasting restrictions later on,” he said.
“So this short-term intervention that’s come early I think is broadly to be welcomed.”
He also believed the vast majority of students had been following the rules.
“As far as I know, there’s not been a great rise in cases in St Andrews and this really is a move that’s designed to prevent any sort of infection taking hold,” he added.
The university is working closely with NHS Lothian’s Test and Protect team, which is investigating the cluster at the Bainfield flats.