'Don't be scared of students flocking to city', minister tells Preston folk.
The message comes as students from all over the country and overseas flood into the area for the new academic year while the city Preston remains under strict lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases.
She urges students to "do their bit" for the community and says: " This is a challenging time for us all, and I recognise that some residents in university towns and cities such as Preston, may feel nervous ahead of the start of the academic term.
“But I want to reassure the people of Preston that every effort is being made by the Government and universities to ensure that students return to campus as safely and sensibly as possible.
The minister added: “We have already seen a mammoth effort from universities with a host of protective measures being put in place, such as limiting travel into campus, staggering class times over extended days, and reinforcing hand hygiene, to keep students and local residents as safe as we can during this time.
“But I have been clear that health advice only works if we all follow it and I am urging students, just like the wider public, to do their bit and act responsibly.
"I have faith in students that they will follow the guidance and by doing so protect their family, friends and local communities, and ensure campuses can remain open.”
The University of Central Lancashire has introduced a wide range of Covid-secure measures, including handing out 35,000 face masks, and installed social distance practices across the campus and its facilities.
Lectures are taking place in a mixture of some small face-to-face and online sessions.