Minister says University of Portsmouth students must 'do their bit' to keep Covid-19 infections low

A MINISTER has said University of Portsmouth students must ‘do their bit’ to keep Covid-19 infections low.

By Ben Fishwick
Thursday, 17th September 2020, 4:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 5:21 pm
The University of Portsmouth's Mercantile House
The University of Portsmouth's Mercantile House

It comes as the city institution said it wanted its students to comply with the new rule of six by having online parties – or sanctions including exclusion could be enforced.

Police have already been called to reports of a house party in Pains Road, Southsea, on Sunday night where paramedics had to take an intoxicated 20-year-old woman to hospital. It's thought this was a student party.

The university is already offering asymptomatic students and staff tests. Testing is also on offer to people in the community at the university’s centre.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Universities minister Michelle Donelan has said people living near students ‘may feel nervous’ – but added she has ‘faith in students’ to stick to the rules.

Read More

Read More
Patient dies from Covid-19 at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth as total de...

In a statement issued to The News, she said: ‘This is a challenging time for us all, and I recognise that some residents in university towns and cities such as Portsmouth may feel nervous ahead of the start of the academic term.

‘But I want to reassure the people of Portsmouth that every effort is being made by the government and universities to ensure that students return to campus as safely and sensibly as possible.

‘We have already seen a mammoth effort from universities with a host of protective measures being put in place, such as limiting travel into campus, staggering class times over extended days, and reinforcing hand hygiene, to keep students and local residents as safe as we can during this time.

‘But I have been clear that health advice only works if we all follow it and I am urging students, just like the wider public, to do their bit and act responsibly.

‘I have faith in students that they will follow the guidance and by doing so protect their family, friends and local communities, and ensure campuses can remain open.’

Around 24,000 students attend the university, with people on courses living in student halls, private halls and multiple-occupancy homes.

A university spokesman previously said: ‘The vast majority of our students adhere to requirements. However, if they do not, penalties for student misconduct range from temporary suspension to permanent exclusion.’

Complaints about students behaviour in private accommodation should be sent to [email protected]

Two patients have died in a fortnight at Queen Alexandra Hospital from Covid-19, the first deaths since June 2.

Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news in Portsmouth with our Coronavirus Updates Facebook group.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.