Covid-19: Almost 300 University of Bristol students self-isolating

Image caption,
Some 40 residents of The Courtrooms have tested positive for coronavirus

Almost 300 University of Bristol students are self-isolating after a coronavirus outbreak at a halls of residence.

Forty residents of The Courtrooms in the city centre have tested positive.

The university says it is supporting those in isolation but may take disciplinary action against those who breach regulations.

Figures from the university now show a total of 257 positive cases among staff and students since the start of term.

Students at The Courtrooms will now have to remain in their flats and only socialise with those in their living circle.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, said special teams would ensure students had access to food and clean laundry.

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

Some students said that although the majority had been avoiding large gatherings, others had been breaking the rules.

'Rippling effect'

Philosophy student Tilly Mitchell said: "Although it's a little bit harder to meet new people because security breaks up big groups of people and you have to stay mainly within your flat, people are still mixing a lot.

“It doesn’t really make sense queuing two metres apart in the dining room when you’ve all just come from standing outside in a group of 30.”

Georgiana Scott, a psychology student, said: "What makes it difficult is that we are living in houses and halls of residencies with lots of people, so when just one person is exposed to the virus it has a huge rippling effect."

A university spokesperson said the majority of students were sticking to the regulations and only mixing in their living circles, and they would work with police to manage those who did not, adding that they had "increased security" to help "monitor the situation".