Exclusive

Manchester Met student reveals 'vile' conditions at university halls during lockdown

28 September 2020, 16:27 | Updated: 28 September 2020, 20:17

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A Manchester Metropolitan University student living at halls placed under quarantine for two weeks has revealed the "frustrating" lack of communication and a mound of rubbish which they were told to keep indoors.

Dan Johnson, a 20-year-old drama and contemporary theatre student, told LBC how his block of flats - Cambridge halls - was placed in another two week lockdown with little notice after he and his flatmates had already been self-isolating for a fortnight.

He labelled the lack of communication "frustrating" and showed how food waste had been left in the flat for days on the orders of accommodation staff.

Read more: Manchester police say enforcing university quarantine is 'not a policing issue'

Read more: Which universities have Covid-19 outbreaks and where are students isolating?

In the exclusive footage, he revealed an "absolutely vile" pile of bin bags that had been left in the flat's storage room - waiting for a member of staff to collect them.

Dan added: "We were told that we can't take the bins down - we were told we have to double bag them and leave them in a cupboard for three days and then someone will come a collect them.

"The smell is absolutely vile - there's 10 of us living in this flat so the amount of bins we have to take out is quite a lot."

A Manchester Metropolitan University student showed LBC how students were living in the quarantined blocks
A Manchester Metropolitan University student showed LBC how students were living in the quarantined blocks. Picture: PA Images

The first year student and his flatmates have now spent over two weeks in lockdown inside their flats.

"We've already been quarantined for two weeks because our flatmate got corona," he said.

"We stuck it out, did the whole two weeks and we're supposed to be coming out today (Monday), but we've been put into another two weeks by the uni for this block."

Read more: Government 'planning social lockdown' in coronavirus hotspots

Dan explained how some of his flatmates - and reportedly many others - packed up and went home after the lockdown announcement.

He joins over 1,700 students in lockdown at the Cambridge and Birley halls blocks - placed into quarantine on Friday after 127 people tested positive for Covid-19.

Asked how the university had handled the situation, he said that "absolutely no one is happy" with what has happened.

"We all understand that there are things we have to do to keep people safe and, save for a few people who make silly decision or flout the rules, everyone is only doing what they're asked," he added.

"There's a lot of anger in some people directed towards the uni for the lack of organisation and communication, but not at the simple fact of having to quarantine."

On Monday evening, it was revealed that students stuck in self-isolation at Manchester Metropolitan University will be given a two-week rent rebate and a £50 grocery gift card, as well as a care package containing toiletries.