Aberdeen University has set out its Covid-19 testing plans to ensure students can return home for Christmas.
Testing for those who are not showing coronavirus symptoms will take place over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.
It will be carried out at the Butchart Centre on University Road and is open to students from Aberdeen University, NESCol and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
Tests will be done using lateral flow devices (LFDs) which can deliver a result within half an hour and do not need to be processed in a laboratory.
Students will undergo two tests, and those who test negative twice will be encouraged to leave campus as soon as possible after their second test.
The university’s acting director of operations Debbie Dyker said: “The safety and well being of our students, staff and their loved ones is our number one priority, so we welcomed the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government to provide lateral flow testing for students wishing to leave Aberdeen over the winter break.
“We have been inundated with offers from our own community keen to help staff our test centre. More than 500 students and staff came forward – many more than we need – and we would like to thank every one of them for being prepared to play their part in this huge effort.”
Guidance published by the Scottish Government says students should take extra care in the period leading up to their departure, telling them to only go out for essential reasons such as food shopping.
Higher education minister Richard Lochhead said: “Our priority is to ensure that students who wish to go home at the end of term can do so while keeping themselves, their families, friends and communities safe.
“We are asking that students continue living at their term-time accommodation for now and minimise any opportunity to pick up the virus by limiting themselves to only essential reasons to mix with others.
“Voluntary testing will also be available from next Monday. This is part of a huge UK-wide effort by colleges and universities to test asymptomatic students before they leave their term-time accommodation.
“I want to thank all students for their tremendous resilience and patience this academic year and I know that they will continue to do all they can to stay safe and ensure a happy reunion with their loved ones.”