Coventry University: 'Up to 200' students flout lockdown in rave at halls

30 September 2020, 08:19 | Updated: 30 September 2020, 10:45

Hundreds of Coventry University students gathered at halls for a rave
Hundreds of Coventry University students gathered at halls for a rave. Picture: Snapchat

By Ewan Somerville

Coventry University officials have said they are "deeply concerned" at reports hundreds of students flouted coronavirus rules to hold a rave at their accommodation.

Videos posted online show a large group of people partying in the early hours of Tuesday morning at Arundel House student accommodation.

The University said the incident showed "blatant breaches of the rule of six" and said it risks the health of students, staff and the community who are at risk from Covid-19.

A spokesperson for Coventry University said: “We are aware of an incident in a private accommodation block which was captured in a video that has been shared online.

“We are deeply concerned by the scenes in the video and strongly condemn the blatant breaches of the rule of six and other guidelines as they risk the health of our students, colleagues and the communities in which we are located.

Read more: Students 'allowed to go home for Christmas' but some will have to self-isolate beforehand

“We have introduced a code of conduct for students and shared this widely with them ahead of the weekend. This code of conduct makes it clear that a failure to follow university and Government health, safety and wellbeing requirements will constitute a breach of the university’s disciplinary regulations and may be dealt with as a matter of misconduct.

"If any of those involved in the video are found to be students of Coventry University and in breach of the code of conduct, we will take appropriate action."

In one video, tweeted at 3am on Tuesday and labelled 'No sleep in the C.O.V', students can be seen singing to the Woi track by drill rapper Digga D.

The university said that most of its students are "sensible adults" who are taking the Covid-19 restrictions seriously, and highlighted the work those on health courses have carried out for the NHS during the peak of the pandemic.

It added: “Many of them are from the communities in which our campuses are based and want to protect themselves, their friends and loved ones.

Read more: NHS facing 'Covid-19 triple whammy', report warns

“Across our five campuses, we have put in place safety measures in line with government advice and we are in constant dialogue with local public health officials and other agencies and universities.

"We are regularly messaging our colleagues and students to reinforce the importance of following all the rules and laws designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we have student ambassadors in key places on campus to remind those who forget to comply with social distancing or face coverings.

"We are also actively encouraging the use of the NHS Covid-19 app to assist our existing track and trace process.”

The night-time advisor for Manchester said the 10pm pub curfew will push socialising underground.

West Midlands Police confirmed they were investigating whether the party was planned and will attend the university on Wednesday to promote Covid-19 restrictions.

A Coventry Police spokesman said: “We attended Arundel House today (29 Sept) following reports of a large gathering of students in the early hours of this morning. It’s believed around 200 people may have been present in a common room.

Read more: UK records 7,143 new coronavirus cases - largest daily increase since start of pandemic

"We will be examining CCTV and will take action if evidence comes to light that this was a planned party.

“We have liaised with management at the student accommodation block and they have agreed to close some communal areas and to increase security.

“We have also arranged a Safer Students stall in Arundel House tomorrow to reiterate Covid-19 regulations and the consequences should those regulations be flouted."

Yesterday, the UK recorded 7,143 new Covid-19 cases with another 41 in Coventry - the fourth highest daily count in the city since the beginning of the pandemic.