Director of public health warns partying students could trigger a lockdown.
Written by Toby Cray, and featured Image taken by the writer himself
Students have been breaking coronavirus guidelines at Leicester University by having small parties and gathering in groups larger than 6 around the village accommodation, situated in Oadby, during welcome week.
As the prospect of a lockdown increase, Mike Sandys, Leicester County Council’s director of public health, has stated: “the type of lockdown is dependent on the outbreak planning by university”
A spokesperson from the university has said: “The University’s primary aim is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, in accordance with government guidelines for the control of COVID-19.
“Students are expected to act in accordance with the University’s code of conduct outlined in our studying safely guidelines, including not mixing households.”
They added: “So far one temporary suspension order has been issued to a student who held a house party which contravened regulations.”
However, students are not following these rules, as one first-year student, who wants to stay anonymous, said:
“On the first two nights students tried to socially distance, they were sitting apart, but you can’t keep your distance while drinking.
“I have been to parties every night, with usually ten people, nothing too major, just playing cards. Everyone seems to be partying.”
Mr Sandys believes that: “students should not be singled out as scapegoats”, but he advised students to: “please follow the rules”.
When asked whether this behaviour could trigger another lockdown, Mr Sandys replied: “Almost inevitable.”
The rules are particularly important as he states that: “we can’t have large number of cases without it effecting the vulnerable in society”
One security guard has stated that they are trying: “A softly, softly approach, by advising students of the guidelines”
Mr Sandys stated: “This is not a done deal yet.” However, he says that: “there is optimism that by spring next year will we have a vaccine, we just need to get through the next few sticky months”.
Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Instagram here: @toby5.c