University of Exeter bans indoor household mixing
The University of Exeter has asked students not to meet different households indoors for the next 14 days.
The Registrar’s latest email states that this new rule begins today, Monday 28 September, and aims to “avoid further local restrictions of the type already seen in a number of other universities.”
While students living in Exeter cannot socialise in other people’s residences, “this does not mean you cannot go out or visit the shops” as long as “outside your current household, you observe the Rule of Six and all other social distancing measures at all times.”
The new rule does not apply if students are learning and studying on campus, working or volunteering, taking part in an organised sporting session, supporting a vulnerable person or in an emergency situation where people are in danger.
Public Health England has revealed that 67 new COVID cases from the last seven days are in Exeter and over half are attributed to the University. The majority of these cases are said to be asymptomatic.
According to the email, data from the Rapid Response Hub shows that the main cause of COVID-19 transmission has been through students meeting up in multiple households, and not through education activity.
While students living in Exeter cannot socialise in other people’s residences, “this does not mean you cannot go out or visit the shops”
A University of Exeter spokesperson said: “We are seeing a continued rise in student Covid-19 cases and, although at this stage there is no evidence of wider community transmission, we are taking further action today in Exeter to control the spread of infection.
“The health and welfare of our students, staff and wider community will always be our number one priority, and our Rapid Response Hub is co-ordinating testing and working with Public Health England and the national track and trace programme to share details of any positive cases.
“Students are required to abide by our ‘Safe Community Charter’ and the vast majority of students have behaved impeccably but where students break the rules we will take action, including sanctions such as suspension and expulsion. We are also providing a wide range of support for students isolating from online groceries and activities to targeted wellbeing support.”
The Guild has been asked for comment and the article will be updated upon receipt.