Minister is worried about students having sex and spreading coronavirus

A minister has warned students of the dangers of spreading Covid-19 between their bedrooms ahead of freshers’ week.

As thousands excitedly get ready to go to university and enjoy a week of drunken debauchery and partying, health minister Lord Bethell said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about students enjoying themselves a little too much.

He acknowledged that new Covid-19 restrictions will have an impact on students’ social lives but urged them to take responsibility for their actions and to avoid sleepovers.

Lord Bethell said: ‘We are deeply concerned about the spread among students. Some of that spread will take place in universities, and I pay tribute to the efforts of vice-chancellors to put in place social distancing arrangements in universities; we hope that they will have an impact.

‘However, some of the effect is in their social life — in pubs, clubs and bedrooms up and down the country.

‘That is the responsibility of the students themselves, and we are looking at measures to enhance and enforce the social-distancing measures that will stop the spread of this disease.’

Most students will head to university next week but their experience will be significantly different to their predecessors’, with online lectures, a ban on parties due to the Rule of Six, and protective screens separating them from peers in some union bars.

No 10 issued fresh guidance to universities in the early hours of Thursday to help them slow the spread of the virus when campuses reopen, amid concerns that infection rates among young people have surged.

Other recommendations include social distancing signs in public areas, staggered arrival times and a mixture of online and face-to-face teaching.

Face coverings are recommended at any events hosted by societies and clubs, and although students will be able to watch performances and rehearsals, they are not allowed to cheer or shout.

A Universities UK spokesperson said: ‘Universities are taking action to encourage responsible student behaviour, including community responsibility agreements or pledges, and working in partnership with their students on campaigns to encourage collective responsibility for campus and wider community safety.’

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