If you are on campus or planning to arrive in Manchester soon, this is everything you need to know about the latest coronavirus guidelines following Boris Johnson’s address to the nation last night.
With the number of daily cases having almost quadrupled to 3,929 compared to 1000 a month ago, admissions into English hospitals have also more than doubled in the last fortnight.
The UK’s coronavirus alert level has now raised from three to four, meaning transmissions are high or rising exponentially.
“The virus has started to spread again in an exponential way. Infections are up, hospital admissions are climbing,” Johnson said.
But the new restrictions are not as severe as the full lockdown which we had in March. Johnson says the government is following the principle of “a stitch in time saves nine”.
So, what does this mean for university students?
Students with part time jobs should work from home if possible, but continue to attend their workplace if this is not the case. For those working in retail, they will have to wear a mask or face covering when working.
From Thursday, pubs, bars and restaurants will close at 10pm, with takeaway service only after this.
Staff and customers at indoor hospitality venues will also have to wear facemasks, except when seated at a table eating or drinking.
Face masks are to be worn at all times while travelling in taxis or private hire vehicles. And people risk a £200 fine if they do not wear a mask or break the rule of six.
The rule of six has also been extended to all adult indoor team sports, which will affect clubs at the university.
There are massive fines of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self isolate, with the restrictions are set to remain in place for up to six months.
Marcus Dsouza, General Manager at Ziya Asian Grill, a busy restaurant on the Curry Mile, said his establishment would have to adapt to he new guidelines.
“The restaurant will now close at 10pm and we shall not accept any customers walking in after 9:30pm,” he said.
“However, we will remain open for delivery via UberEats and Deliveroo until 11pm. The safety of our staff and customers is very important to us and therefore we will follow the new guidelines very seriously.
“Every staff member will have a facemask on, and the resturant will be kept sanitized and clean at all times.”
Johnson added: “The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell.
“And as for the suggestion that we should simply lock up the elderly and the vulnerable – with all the suffering that would entail – I must tell you that this is just not realistic, because if you let the virus rip through the rest of the population it would inevitably find its way through to the elderly as well, and in much greater numbers.”
Talking in the House of Commons, the prime minister also said cases are growing fastest among young people between the ages of 20-29. But he made it clear that schools, colleges and universities will remain open.