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Scotland unis must look after students, Sturgeon says

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Universities must make sure food and essentials are delivered to students self-isolating at campuses across Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Several unis are dealing with coronavirus outbreaks, with many students in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh being told to stay in.

The first minister will remind university heads of their "big responsibility" to students later.

Scotland students have been told to avoid pubs and parties this weekend.

The stricter guidelines have been criticised by the National Union of Students Scotland as "unjustified" and "deeply concerning".

President Matt Crilly said it showed a "complete disregard" for students' mental health and wellbeing.

Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat's political editor Daniel Rosney, Ms Sturgeon said she wasn't blaming students.

"It's not their fault, it's nobody's fault. Covid is nobody's fault.

"But we all have to play our parts and try and to get it under control."

A total of 172 Glasgow University students have so far tested positive, with 600 in isolation, while all 500 residents at the Parker House halls in Dundee have been told to quarantine.

Infection rates among age groups. .  Seven-day average per 100k. Figures updated to 22 September.

The first minister said students were being asked not to go to the pub just for this weekend, adding that it was incorrect to say the measures were in place for longer.

"I think last night, there was a sense that we were saying to students, for the foreseeable future, do not to go to pubs. That's not what we're saying."

But she didn't rule out that it could happen again.

"I've tried to be really straight with people in how we're dealing with this.

"I can't see into the future in any certain sense. I don't have a crystal ball."

Household mixing is banned under stricter regulations announced this week for Scotland, and Nicola Sturgeon expects students to follow the rules.

That means the start of university is very different to normal.

When asked about sex with new partners, she said: "There are limits to what I'm going to say to students about the regulation of their intimate private lives.

"But I, a student, anybody else, is not allowed to be in somebody else's house right now.

"Because we know that is one of the big risks of the virus spreading."

Those living alone who form extended households, couples not living together and those who need childcare and tradespeople do not have to observe the indoor visiting restriction.

media captionStudents in Sheffield talk about their last night of "freedom"

Ms Sturgeon said while she was concerned about the mental health impact of restrictions, there was a balance to find with physical health.

"My priority is to try and keep people safe from a virus that even for young people can do a lot of damage to their physical health.

"But the more quickly we can bring Covid back under control right now, hopefully, the sooner students can start to have a bit more normality in their lives."

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