Freshers ignore social distancing as they cram on pavement outside club


Students in coronavirus lockdown at their halls of residence have been partying until the early hours after the university allowed larger ‘bubbles’, neighbours claim.

Some 1,500 students at Manchester Metropolitan University have been told to self-isolate at the Birley and Cambridge halls for a fortnight after a Covid-19 outbreak.

But local residents claim the young people have been having late night parties and security guards said they could not go into the building to tell them to be quiet.

It follows students being allowed to mix between households after MMU said on Sunday that they can consider their whole halls, not just their flat, as a ‘bubble’.

Meanwhile shocking photographs showed students in Nottingham queuing to get into a party – blatantly flouting the rule of six and social distancing guidelines.

Nottingham Trent University students queue to get into a club on Tuesday at about 7pm

Queues to access the freshers event for Nottingham Trent University students on Tuesday

Queues to access the freshers event for Nottingham Trent University students on Tuesday 

Student representatives and university staff were also seen trying to enforce the social distancing measures on Tuesday night at the event for Nottingham Trent University students

Student representatives and university staff were also seen trying to enforce the social distancing measures on Tuesday night at the event for Nottingham Trent University students

In Manchester, one neighbour told the Manchester Evening News: ‘I complained to security at 1am and they said they can’t go into the building to tell them to shut up.

‘It started on Friday, I was watching TV and it got to a quiet point and I realised I could hear music from across the road.

‘I went outside and could see there was a party going on inside a flat and then realised there was noise outside as well. There was a party in the courtyard as well.

‘It was absolutely ridiculous. No social distancing, music blaring, the security guards hovered by the gates for a while and then just went away.’

The resident estimated there were at least 50 students partying outside, and said he had received an apology from the university after emailing officials.

In the East Midlands, dozens of freshers at Nottingham Trent University crammed together on pavements outside a club, with many not wearing masks.

Hundreds of revellers spilled out on to the streets of Portsmouth on Tuesday after 10pm

Hundreds of revellers spilled out on to the streets of Portsmouth on Tuesday after 10pm 

Amid fears over the threat of a second wave of coronavirus, council officers were seen walking along the queue outside Rock City reminding revellers of guidance.

Party on: Where students have held Covid-flouting bashes

Where have booze-fuelled students held coronavirus-flouting raves so far?

Liverpool John Moores University 

Students took part in a huge booze-fuelled rave in an accommodation hall. 

A group of students – some standing on furniture – were seen crowding together inside an accommodation block as they danced and sang along to Dizzee Rascal song Bonkers. 

Coventry University 

Hundreds of students were seen climbing on top of ping pong tables and raving at a Coventry University accommodation block on Tuesday night. 

At least 200 students are thought to have crammed into a common room at Arundel House, close to Coventry University’s main campus, ignoring social distancing guidelines and the rule of six.    

Some revellers could be heard screaming, while a group of male students clambered on top of a ping pong table as they sang along to the thumping music. 

The accommodation block is just a two minute walk from campus and is also close to the town centre.

University of Manchester

Despite warnings, a group of students at the University of Manchester held an illegal party outside of their student accommodation during the early hours of the morning last week. 

Video footage showed a crowd of students dancing to music, with one clip captioned: ‘Covid wah?’. 

Manchester Metropolitan University 

Residents of Birley Halls – accommodation for Manchester Metropolitan University – students claim around 100 people were partying till the early hours of the morning earlier this month. 

A GMP sergeant tweeted that they were: ‘Shocked at the arrogance, ignorance & selfishness of some of the freshers in Manchester.

‘When you’re asked to follow the Covid rules, do as you’re told. If you refuse, resulting in being told to leave, don’t kick off! Your actions are risking bars / pubs being closed!’. 

Student representatives and university staff were also seen trying to enforce the measures with little effect.

The university had been criticised for allowing a freshers’ week despite having no testing facilities in place for students.

Elsewhere, an outbreak of 32 cases at Swansea University has been linked to one ‘super spreader’ who attended a house party.

Andrew Rhodes, registrar and chief operating officer at Swansea University, said the infected person ‘who came from outside the area caused the transmission of the virus’.

It was linked to an event on September 12. He said: ‘In terms of all those who had positive test results, there were 32 – all of those students were from a particular party.’

Students have been warned they risk being kicked of their courses if they are caught flouting Covid-19 rules. So far, six students have been issued with warnings.

The university has not yet brought in measures restricting students to their halls, as has been seen in Manchester, as so far cases have been confirmed to private halls and none had been reported on campus.

Mr Rhodes said: ‘There are some students who have enjoyed themselves more than they should have done but the vast majority have been brilliant.’

Swansea University has a 23,000-strong student population, which encompasses both the Swansea Bay and the Singleton campus, including 15,000 students in private accommodation.

Meanwhile, video footage emerged yesterday showing another student party in Liverpool.

It shows a large group of students said to be from the city’s John Moores University packed into a communal room at Cambridge Court halls signing and dancing along to the Dizzee Rascal song Bonkers.

Fifty students at the Royal College of Music in London are also self-isolating after an outbreak at a halls of residence.

In the West Midlands, more than 200 students packed together for an illegal rave in defiance of Covid-19 rules at a Coventry University hall of residence.

Film of the raucous party with students singing, shouting and dancing on tables was shared online, sparking widespread condemnation.

In the video students can be seen with their arms around each other while some climb on to a table tennis table to dance for the crowd.

It was taken at Arundel House, close to the university’s main campus, and posted online with the caption ‘No sleep in the C.O.V’.

The city of Coventry has seen its infection rate jump from 30 per 100,000 two weeks ago to more than 70, while there have been five confirmed cases at the university.

Police said they were called to the privately-managed hall in the early hours of Tuesday following reports of ‘a large gathering of students’.

Government should introduce ‘Nightingale classes’, say teachers

Union chiefs have called on the government to create ‘Nightingale classes’ amid a drop in the number of schools able to fully open due to Covid-19. 

The latest government figures revealed one in six state secondary schools could not fully open last week – with most unable to do so because of coronavirus.

Schools are considered to be not fully open if they are unable to provide face-to-face teaching for all pupils for the whole school day and have asked a group of students to self-isolate.

Latest school attendance statistics reveal approximately 84 per cent of state-funded secondary schools were fully open on September 24 – down eight per cent from a week earlier.  

Now bosses from the National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in the UK, have renewed calls on the government to create ‘Nightingale classes’ in a bid to get all of the country’s students back into lessons.

They say the Nightingale class would be similar to the government’s Nightingale hospital system – where pop-up hospitals were set up in conference centres at the start of the pandemic to deal with an anticipated surge in hospital admissions.

Officers said they would be examining video and CCTV footage and would take further action if evidence emerged the party had been planned.

Forces were given powers in August to fine organisers of illegal parties and raves of more than 30 people up to £10,000.

Ian Dunn, the university’s Provost, described the footage as ‘outrageous and deeply unfair’.

He told the BBC the university was taking the incident ‘very seriously’ and he was confident its code of conduct had been breached.

Other city centres were busy with students on nights out, trying to make the most of their first weeks at university despite restrictions on how many people can gather.

Hundreds of revellers spilled out on to the streets of Portsmouth.

Government guidance states that only groups of six people or fewer are allowed to meet and students have been told they must limit socialising, stay within separate ‘households’ and be taught in managed groups.

Up to 4,000 students across Britain are now thought to be self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed across at least 32 universities.

It comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said moving university lectures online would be a ‘sensible’ way of reducing the transmission of coronavirus on campuses following the spike in cases.

But he stopped short of backing calls for students to be given a refund on their tuition fees and rents as a result.

The University and College Union has called on the Prime Minister to ensure online tuition at universities ‘becomes the norm’ in a move Labour said it supported.

The National Union of Students has been arguing for tuition fee refunds if the pandemic severely impacts the quality of students’ learning.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it was up to universities whether they offer a refund to students forced to self-isolate.

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