Students self-isolating at universities are "trapped" in "disgusting conditions", a union boss has warned.
The president of the National Union of Students (NUS) said students are being discouraged from getting food deliveries and many are "wondering where the next roll of toilet roll is coming from".
Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Larissa Kennedy said: "I’m hearing from some students across the country where there are security guards outside of these blocks where students are being kept, stopping people from leaving, coming and going, where students are being discouraged from getting deliveries and told by the university that they’ll deliver food and that delivery has not arrived and so they’ve gone for the day without food.
"I’ve heard from other students who, they’ve turned up with an amount of toilet roll, told with no notice that they’re going to be locked down and wondering where the next roll of toilet roll is coming from.
"It just feels like these are disgusting conditions for students to have been trapped in."
She added: "First and foremost, we are of course encouraging people to do the right thing for public health and to follow that guidance.
"But we are questioning whether this is legal, in terms of making sure that students get that access to the basic amenities that they need – to food, to toiletries and to all the things they need just to survive lockdown.
"And in cases where that hasn’t been the case, whether it has been legal to keep them cooped up in that way without that access to the things that they need."
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said he has been assured that students at Manchester Metropolitan University are not being prevented from leaving their accommodation to go for coronavirus tests.
"I have spoken to the vice-chancellor and I am assured that people are able to leave if they have got good reason to do that," he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
"But what has happened over the weekend is that the university has been dealing with a very worrying situation. It obviously required a firm response when there are over a hundred cases.
"I have been assured there is a support package now in place for students."
It comes after students in Scotland were told they can return home from university accommodation on a long-term basis, as long as they follow rules on self-isolating.
The Government is under mounting pressure to guarantee young people are not confined to their halls of residence over the festive period because of Covid-19 outbreaks on campuses.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green said the Government should "step up" testing capacity to help ensure university students can return home for Christmas.
Ms Green told Sky News: "Students will desperately want to be able to go home to be with friends and family at Christmas.
"And, of course, it’s right that we all have a part to play in keeping distance and keeping safe.
"But the real key to this is getting the mass testing rolled out so that students can be tested, we can know if somebody is testing positive and make sure that they are isolated and don’t travel.
"But it would mean the other students would be able to get back home for Christmas and that’s why the Government needs to step up too and make sure that that testing capacity is available."
She added: "One thing that I think particularly in relation to students: much more effort could be made to support those universities that are already developing their own testing capacity, like Leicester, for example, or Cambridge.
"And the Government could be really working much more closely alongside them to get that additional capacity that would relieve pressure elsewhere in the NHS and other pillars of testing.
"And it would mean that students could be tested on campus, so could university staff."
Ms Green argued this would help make universities "much safer places".