300 students told to self-isolate after Covid outbreak at Bristol University

Bristol University has been plunged into lockdown with angry backlash as 300 students are ordered not to leave their rooms.

Bosses have been blasted as "unreasonable" by a parent who claims their son has been forced to self-isolate for 38 days and wash his clothes in his bedroom sink.

An outbreak of 40 cases saw every student at The Courtrooms in the city centre told to "remain in their flats and only socialise with their living circle" this afternoon.

Sanjeev Premchand tweeted: "After complying with the initial 14 days of self isolation upon arrival in the UK, my son went straight into another 10 days of quarantine with his flat mates – and now another 14 days with no ability to do laundry or get fresh food?

"Come on Bristol University – be reasonable!"

The university replied on Twitter saying self-isolation was "difficult for everyone" and signposted the dad to university support.

But Mr Premchand hit back: "I have no doubt about your intentions – he was told to use his bathroom sink to do his laundry when he contacted the residence team on October 3rd – and I have been unable to reach anybody on any of the phone numbers provided. How many international students are in the same boat?"

Students are getting ready for a boozeathon to get through their self-isolation.

Masters student Alfredo Malarin responded to the announcement on Facebook by writing "300 students in a lockdown, what can go wrong?" followed by a tankard of beer emoji.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, said: "We have been actively monitoring coronavirus case numbers across the University community throughout the pandemic and have implemented a range of planned, increasing measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

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"This has included the self-isolation of a number of living circles within our residences.

"Having reassessed case numbers with colleagues from the Public Health Team today, we have decided that further measures are appropriate at this stage.

"We know this is a stressful situation and full support is being offered to those affected."

She said that teams will be on hand to ensure "everyone has access to food, supplies and clean laundry which will be delivered straight to their door".

The Times analysis suggests coronavirus infection rates are five times higher in student areas that elsewhere. More than 5,000 students have so far tested positive following the return to campuses, with large clusters identified in Newcastle, Northumbria and Manchester.

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