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Covid updates: PM doesn’t want national lock “right now”

Far from the Prime Minister’s announcements today, the impact of the pandemic on students continues.

The English Minister of Universities says that it is “just outrageous” how much students are charged for food shipments when they are forced to isolate themselves.

Michelle Donelan is taking part in the debate over the conditions facing students who have spent their new term in self-isolation following the Covid outbreaks on campus.

Asked by the House of Commons about the isolation of students who are charged £ 18 a day for food, she said that “no university should seek to profit from self-isolating students” – and she promised to write universities to “highlight the issue”.

“Students who isolate themselves in dining halls should receive free food, while other students should receive food that is either free – as many universities do, including Sheffield Hallam and Edge Hill – or at a price that can be provided within the student’s budget, “Ms Donelan said.

The University of the East of England charged around £ 18 a day for food for self-isolated students – but after allegations that it benefited students, it was reduced to around £ 12 a day last week.

The minister also revealed that there were now about 9,000 students with Kovid – describing the figure as “a cumulative number of cases in the last seven days”.

The UCU faculty union questioned why students were returned to campus when so many either caught the coronavirus or were placed in social isolation from outbreaks in their accommodation units.

Labor MP Richard Burgen has accused the government of playing “Russian roulette with the lives of students, staff and local communities”.

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