By Siavash Minoukadeh, Deputy Digital Editor
The measure will affect around 300 students and comes as case numbers continue to rise both locally and across the University community.
In an email sent to all students this morning, the University announced that following guidance from Public Health England (PHE), all students living in The Courtrooms, in the city centre, will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
This follows the discovery of a cluster of COVID-19 cases in the halls of residence and in a statement, the University told Epigram that this measure ‘is an additional precaution, over and above the requirement for all students to follow the UK Government and University regulations.’
The affected students are being strongly urged not leave their accommodation to go home, as this would contravene both PHE and Government guidelines.
A member of University management wrote in an all-staff email that allowing students to leave the accommodation ‘could put others at risk' and the University is ‘therefore asking them to remain in The Courtrooms until they have completed their self-isolation.’
The students who are self-isolating will be provided with support from the University including the delivery of food and medication parcels, collection of laundry and waste alongside mental health and wellbeing resources available online.
Students have also been told to continue attending online teaching if they feel well enough to do so.
The University also stressed the need for the affected students to follow the rules, saying that if they did so ‘we hope that this situation will pass, and things can return to relative normality as quickly as possible.’
Furthermore, the University also released an updated case count, showing that one further member of staff and an additional 135 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Wednesday.
The total now stands at 254 students and three members of staff. The University also announced that new updates will now be released daily, rather than weekly, from Monday.
Alongside the walk-in testing centre in the Victoria Rooms, the University also announced that two further testing sites, exclusively for University students and staff, will open in Stoke Bishop and in the City Centre.
These Mobile Testing Units will be open seven days a week between 10:30am and 3:30pm and students can book by visiting the testing sites directly. The University has also encouraged the installation of the NHS Track and Trace app to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, Bristol SU's officer team said: ‘We’ve been lobbying for the University to ensure plans for halls lockdown to include all the support you need including access to food, laundry and community building events.
‘It is important in this time that we recognise our shared responsibility to each other and take the necessary precautions to ensure that we are keeping each other safe. This means following guidance in order to prevent spreading the illness further in our community.’
Featured image: Epigram
For more information if you have coronavirus symptoms and are a University of Bristol student, click here.