Social distancing 'ignored' at crowded Exeter University event

Exeter University has confirmed that social distancing was maintained at the outdoor cinema event. Credit: Devon Live

A student at Exeter University has expressed concerns over a lack of social distancing on campus after an outdoor cinema event turned into a mass gathering on Saturday night.


Pictures were taken of hundreds of students gathered outside flats in the city on Saturday 19 September after an official socially distanced event was held on site.

Exeter University says social distancing was maintained throughout the outdoor cinema event but has decided to cancel similar events this week.

The second year student left when they felt it had become unsafe to stay. Credit: Devon Live

A student has voiced concerns over how large gatherings of students are being tackled on campus: "Initially there were only two campus patrol people there and they were just walking on the outside of the huddle of people.

"It didn't seem as though there was any effort to break up the group. More and more people started arriving even though the campus patrol were there.

"I can understand why students are meeting outside in such big groups. I think we are all desperate to meet new people, make friends and have a freshers week which is at least similar to previous years.

"The campus patrol do not seem to have the authority to break up groups which encourages people to join."

It is frustrating as all of our lectures are online and many of the clubs and societies cannot go ahead and yet people are mixing in huge numbers and nothing is being done about it.

Exeter University student

A University of Exeter spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, some of our students did not socially distance as required at an outdoor cinema event on Saturday night."

We apologise to any students who were following the Covid-19 rules and anyone who was concerned by the lack of social distancing. We are trying to find the right balance between supporting student activities and the government guidance on Covid-19 but we will always prioritise the safety of our community.

University of Exeter spokesperson

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