‘Let us out’: Isolating students hang window protest signs

The Canary

Students isolating in their university halls of residence have been communicating with the outside world via signs in their windows saying “Let us out” and “Send beer”.

Unrest

Thousands of students have been forced to self-isolate following a surge in cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) at universities including Manchester Metropolitan, Glasgow, and Edinburgh Napier.

1,700 people were told to stay in their rooms at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus and Cambridge Halls for 14 days after 127 tested positive for the virus.

The signs have called on people to send help and food
The signs have called on people to send help and food (Peter Byrne/PA)

Students have resorted to using sticky notes and signs in their windows, including some which asked for a tuition fees refund, and others which questioned why they were paying £9,250 a year for university courses.

An email from the university initially asked all students to remove their signs, however, a later tweet from  MMU apologised for this.

“Respect”

The university said:

We apologise for the message sent to our students last night about posters in windows, it didn’t reflect the University’s view.

We respect the rights of students to express themselves, but as requested by @gmpolice the posters must not break the law or they’ll have to be removed.

Sign on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus
Sign on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus (Peter Byrne/PA)

On Monday, the University of Exeter asked students not to meet indoors with anyone who is not part of their household, for the next 14 days. Education secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to make a statement in the Commons on 29 September.

At least 25 institutions have seen confirmed cases of the virus, according to university statements and local reports.

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