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MMU lockdown: Will Manchester University be next?

After the news that 1,700 Manchester Metropolitan University students have been locked down and forced to self-isolate, students living in halls at the University of Manchester will be wondering what this means for them. 

Here’s the latest. 

What’s going on at MMU? 

According to Manchester Evening News, students at Birley campus and Cambridge Hall will be locked down for 14 days.

The decision has been taken jointly by MMU, Manchester City Council and Public Health England. 

Freshers were told to self-isolate “with immediate effect” after a cluster of cases were recorded. 

Several students were already in quarantine after a “100-strong” party in Birley Halls. 

But now, all students living in the halls have been locked down – even if they have no symptoms. 

Students in the accommodation blocks have even claimed that security has been drafted in to stop them from leaving. 

An MMU spokesperson said the University was “fully supportive” of the lockdown decision. 

“Our security teams will increase patrols to support the lockdown and we will take disciplinary action against any students found to have breached requirements,” they added. 

Will Manchester University be next? 

The University of Manchester has made no official statement regarding its student halls, and there is nothing yet to suggest they could be locked down. 

But there have been large parties taking place across Fallowfield campus – where it has 7 halls of residence – in the past week. 

And after the mass gatherings, students have been warned a curfew could be introduced across all halls along with “other restrictive measures”. 

This University has “condemned” students who have flouted social distancing rules and pledged to go after as many as possible with disciplinary action. 

Shocking videos unearthed by The Mancunion showed a massive “rave” in Owens Park while security looked on helpless. 

EXCLUSIVE NEW VIDEO: Freshers hold massive "rave" in Owens Park in Fallowfield. Security staff can be seen looking on…

Posted by The Mancunion on Friday, 25 September 2020

In the videos, freshers can be seen dancing close together with no social distancing or face coverings.

Another clip saw dozens of freshers cram into a small Fallowfield flat for a wild party. 

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and the University strongly condemns it,” a spokesperson said at the time. 

They added: “Active consideration is also being given to introducing a curfew across all Halls. We really want to avoid this but if residents fail to adhere to social distancing rules we will be faced with no alternative.” 

While it’s believed some students are already self-isolating on Fallowfield Campus, restrictions are not currently as severe as at MMU. 

However, many MMU students arrived in Manchester one week earlier and other universities have also been plagued by coronavirus. 

More than 1,000 students across Scotland are self-isolating, and at least 87 undergraduates have tested positive at the University of Liverpool. 

What do I do if I have coronavirus symptoms? 

If students or those around them develop virus symptoms, such as a high temperature, new continuous cough, or loss of smell or taste, they must self isolate. This means they cannot leave their accommodation. 

The University says students should request a test to find out if they have the virus, and let them know if they test positive.

 

Each subject school will have a support team in case of studies being impacted, and students in university-owned accommodation will also be asked to inform dorm advisors. 

Those with the virus will be able to get help with day-to-day activities such as food shopping. Support will also be available over the phone.

Students that have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace must also stay at home. 

If you are currently self-isolating in Manchester University halls, please get in touch with The Mancunion in confidence through Facebook.

Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, fallowfield, manchester metropolitan university, Manchester University, self-isolation

Josh Sandiford

Deputy Editor
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