'It's not going to work': Students give their verdict after new local restrictions announced

25 September 2020, 19:34

Leeds faces tough new coronavirus restrictions from midnight
Leeds faces tough new coronavirus restrictions from midnight. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Students in cities facing new lockdown restrictions have told LBC they think it's "not going to work" because young people want to socialise.

Further local lockdown restrictions have been announced in Leeds and Blackpool, as well as parts of Greater Manchester and Wales.

On Friday, officials in Leeds announced a ban from midnight on households mixing in each others' homes, ahead of confirmation from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Locals have said they were expecting action to be taken soon as new Covid-19 cases continue to soar in the city and elsewhere.

But a student in the city told LBC the restrictions won't make much of a difference to nightlife in the city as thousands of university students have returned this month.

Even though household mixing is banned, she is sceptical of the idea that students from different households won't meet in pubs, which are only now permitted to remain open until 10pm.

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"I don't think it's really going to work that well with the amount of university students that have come back here," she said.

"They're still keeping pubs open to allow households to mix, so that doesn't really make much sense and I don't think a lot of people are going to abide by those rules.

"I think people who are older will [stick to the rules] because they've got more of a sense of responsibility.

"A lot of the student who've come back to Leeds - especially the freshers - they've come to have a good time and i think they're going to be fed up with it."

The latest seven-day Covid-19 rate in Leeds was found to be 113.3 per 100,000 people, according to Government figures, while Leeds director of public health Victoria Eaton said there was an 8.4% positive test rate.

Leeds City Council's Chief Executive, Tom Riordan, said: "What we are trying to do is give a simple message - you shouldn't really mix with other households."

One local explained to LBC how she had been invited to an illegal party by her friends but rejected the invitation because of a terminal illness.

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"I know somebody who's doing parties at their house and are inviting people round - I got invited but I can't because I'm terminal, I've got to be careful," she said.

"I know it's lovely what she's doing, but it isn't - this is serious."

More than a quarter of the UK population will be living under extra coronavirus restrictions when they come in to force this weekend.

There are warnings for people in London to follow restrictions or face further measures as well.

Local leaders will be assessing the impact of this weekend - the first since the nationwide 10pm curfew on pubs was announced earlier this week.

Additional reporting from Lizzie Longley.