About 1,700 students have been told to self-isolate at Manchester Metropolitan University in northern England or risk facing “disciplinary action,” after 127 Covid-19 cases were confirmed on campus, according to the university and local authorities.
Students living in two main dorms were asked via email on Friday night to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
A statement from Manchester City Council on Friday said a joint decision had been taken along with the university and Public Health England to “implement a local lockdown for student accommodation at the Birley campus and Cambridge Halls” in a bid to “stop the transmission of the virus among students and prevent it getting into the wider community.”
In a press release, city councillor Bev Craig acknowledged that the lockdown would “be difficult for all of the young people involved,” saying that the city council would be working with public services to “make sure that any of the students affected get the support they need.”
The university tweeted that it was working with local health authorities to help the students in the two dorms concerned. "If you are not directly affected, you MUST NOT try to visit friends who live in these halls," it added.
The move comes after students in Scotland were banned Friday from visiting pubs, restaurants and cafes this weekend, as several universities across the country report major outbreaks of infections.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that although Scotland “will see campus cases continue to rise in the days to come” these measures “can help stem that flow.”