THOUSANDS of students in Manchester have gone into quarantine after 127 coronavirus infections were recorded on campus - as a video showed freshers in the city throwing an illegal lockdown party.
Around 1,700 students in Manchester Metropolitan University's Birley campus and Cambridge Halls have been told to self-isolate "with immediate effect".
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University officials have begged rowdy students to attend virtual freshers' events and avoid big parties in a bid to prevent infections spiralling.
Public Health England and Manchester City Council said in a joint statement that a "local lockdown" would be imposed on the two halls after a "spike" was detected in accommodation blocks.
It read: "The evidence so far suggests that transmission has been within the student community."
The outbreak occurred just a week after a party with over 100 students was reported in the courtyard of Birley Campus, according to Manchester Evening News.
Case numbers on campus soared following the rave - with a number of students in the halls reporting symptoms of the bug.
It comes as freshers at Manchester University - the city's other major academic institution- were caught hosting a huge illegal lockdown party this week.
Footage taken at 1am this morning, captioned 'Covid wah?', shows hundreds of revellers dancing around a soundsystem outside Owens Park halls in the Fallowfield area of South Manchester.
Responding to the incident, a University of Manchester statement said: "We are aware of this party and our security services worked with Greater Manchester Police to shut it down.
"This behaviour is totally unacceptable and the University strongly condemns it."
Greater Manchester Police confirmed they had been called to the scene at 1.20am this morning and dispersed the attendees.
In an email to students currently living in halls, Manchester Uni officals said: “This is placing additional and unnecessary pressure on these teams.
“As a result of this, active consideration is being given to introducing a curfew across all Halls and/or other restrictive measures.
“We really want to avoid this but if residents fail to adhere to social distancing rules we will be faced with no alternative.”
The busybodies went on to threaten students with fines of more than £3,000 - adding that naughty partygoers also face being kicked out if the behaviour continues.
The email concludes: “Additional security officers have been deployed in Fallowfield and further reminders sent.
"Details of offending students are being recorded and a number of these will now go through our disciplinary process.”
The University and College Union has described the Manchester incident as "the latest catastrophe in a week where wholly predictable - and predicted - Covid outbreaks have caused havoc on campuses across the UK".
It comes amid a surge in cases across the UK - with students facing the prospect of spending Christmas in halls.
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Sir Mark Walport, a member of SAGE, told Radio 4's Today programme this morning: "If students are infected when it comes near to the end of term they may have to remain where they are."
He added: "The one thing that we don't want is for an outbreak of coronavirus in a university to then result in students going home and spreading that infection to other parts of the country and other communities, to their parents, to their grandparents."
Universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow have also seen large coronavirus outbreaks, with 120 and 124 cases respectively.