UoM students face halls curfew after ‘significant breaches’ of social distancing

Students who breach rules may be fined or removed from their degrees

The University of Manchester has warned its students in halls they could be facing a curfew, after “significant breaches of Covid regulations”.

An email to students currently in halls said students have been given repeated warnings, but there were still “significant breaches” of coronavirus social distancing rules over the weekend, The Mancunion reports.

The email said these breaches “resulted in the attendance of large numbers of university security staff”, as well as Greater Manchester Police officers.

It said: “As a result of this, active consideration is being given to introducing a curfew across all Halls and/or other restrictive measures.

“We really want to avoid this but if residents fail to adhere to social distancing rules we will be faced with no alternative.”

The email also said a “disciplinary process” has been “initiated against a number of students”, and those who breach social distancing rules will face disciplinary action. This action “could result in your removal from halls and from your academic course.”

Greater Manchester Police are “actively monitoring” students and social distancing regulations, and can fine people up to £3,200. It said: “You should also be aware that GMP are actively monitoring the situation and are very concerned at the scenes they have witnessed.

“They have already handed out some fixed penalty notices to students and will be reviewing footage gathered over the course of this weekend. They have the power to issue fixed notice penalties for which repeated breaches can rise up to £3,200.

“Whilst appreciating that the start of the university year is traditionally a time of significant social interaction, we ask that you each help support the wellbeing of everyone in halls, and in the wider community, by following the law and the University guidelines for COVID.” 

This comes after students at Manchester Metropolitan University halls hosted parties of over 100 people last week. Today it was reported students at MMU are now isolating due to a coronavirus outbreak in halls.

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “We have been very clear to students that they must respect social distancing rules and all other restrictions to keep themselves and others safe.

“If students do not comply, they will face disciplinary action from the University, which could lead to expulsion, and we will not hesitate to involve the police if necessary. Some students have already been issued with fixed penalty notices by the police.

“Additional security officers have been deployed in Fallowfield and further reminders sent. Details of offending students are being recorded and a number of these will now go through our disciplinary process.”

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