House parties are a ‘key concern’, admits Sheff health boss as 60,000 students return

Can 2020 just end already?

Sheffield’s health boss has issued a stark warning against house parties and said that Freshers’ Week will look ‘very different’.

It comes following a government crackdown on big groups meeting socially, as universities attempt to control mass gatherings through hefty fines.

Greg Fell, health boss, said: “There will be pubs and clubs who want to organise Freshers’ Week in the normal way. We will use all the enforcement powers we have, including the police, to fairly and rigorously enforce.

“The week has been extensively considered by both universities and students’ unions. All parties are very clear that Freshers’ will look very, very different this year.”

Online activities to replace the usual Freshers’ events have been rolled out by both universities, with Hallam Students’ Union advertising an online party with video streams, live DJs and a chat, as well as a virtual society fair.

Meanwhile, the Uni of Sheff’s Students’ Union is planning virtual activities and sports fairs, along with an online ‘give it a go’ programme.

Mr. Fell went on to say: “Students are students and they all want to be out partying and we all know what student behaviour is like, so finding ways to influence that will be a tricky job. That’s one of the things that does keep us awake.”