Students are being urged to stay complaint and cautious to Covid-19 restrictions as universities across the country have seen outbreaks of coronavirus cases since the start of the term.

Hertfordshire County Council has warned colleges and universities across Hertfordshire including West Herts College, the University of Hertfordshire and other campuses to play their part and keep communities safe.

Since the start of the new term, about 40 universities around the UK have had reports of coronavirus cases, and thousands of students have faced isolation due to coronavirus outbreaks.

This caused some concern that students would be told not to go home during their Christmas break, but the Prime Minister’s spokesperson has suggested this would not be the case.

The surge of new cases among students have been found after an increase of fresher’s parties and events, and the participation of close contact sports teams.

Multiple house parties in Hatfield believed to be student parties from the University of Hertfordshire, were shut down last Friday (September 25).

Cllr Tim Hutchings, cabinet member for Public Health and Prevention at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We know it’s been a tough year for young people, and we understand how unsettling it has been for the students who are adjusting to the impact of Covid-19.

“Universities and colleges have worked extremely hard over the summer to make their premises as Covid-safe as possible. But, as we know, it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the government guidelines to help prevent outbreaks of Covid-19 in the county. We all need to play our part to avoid a local lockdown.”

Campuses across Hertfordshire including West Herts College and the University of Hertfordshire have adopted various measures to keep students safe including:

• extra signage to remind staff and students to wash their hands

• everybody wearing a face-covering in communal areas on campus

• encouraging social distancing in all communal spaces through one-way systems and reduced seating to lower the number of people in close proximity

• reminding students of the government requirements as well as their responsibilities to themselves, their friends, classmates, other members of their institution and the wider community.

The county council is reminding everyone that coronavirus is still a present threat in Hertfordshire, and some districts have seen an increase in cases.

Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming students back to the university this September. We have worked hard over the summer to put a wide range of measures in place to reduce the risks associated with Covid-19, informed by the latest government advice and working in collaboration with Hertfordshire Students’ Union, Hertfordshire County Council and the NHS.

“As a campus-based university, we are well placed to deliver a blend of small-group teaching alongside live, interactive online lectures. We have provided all staff and students with a reusable face-covering to wear on campus and in the local community and have adapted our teaching, learning and social spaces so that everyone can follow social-distancing guidance and keep safe. We are also supporting our NHS by hosting a Covid-19 mobile testing unit on our College Lane campus.

“Our Student Charter has been updated this year to include a new Campus Community pledge, which reminds our university community that they have an obligation to protect others.

“There will undoubtedly be more challenges ahead as the pandemic evolves, but the University of Hertfordshire remains dedicated to keeping our community safe while delivering an exceptional higher education experience for its students.”

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 is asked to self-isolate immediately.

If any symptoms are developed, visit for guidance on booking a test.