A UNIVERSITY has suspended all lessons to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The University of Sussex made the announcement in an internal email to staff this morning.

It will switch to online classes.

This follows two students at the university testing positive for covid-19.

A spokesman for the University of Sussex said: "The University Executive Group has decided to suspend all teaching for this week and begin online teaching from Monday, March 23.  

"This will take effect immediately today.

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"The University campus will remain open and essential services will still be provided.

"We have listened to our whole community in coming to this decision and we believe strongly it is the right one for all.

"The wellbeing of our staff and students will always be our number one priority.

"We will be sending more information to students and staff today."

The institution's vice chancellor Adam Tickell wrote to students about the situation at the university last week.

In this he confirmed the two existing cases of coronavirus at the university and warned that he expects many more students and staff would need to self-isolate in the coming weeks.

He said: "I know that many people are concerned about the developing situation in the UK and internationally regarding the coronavirus.

“Things have been happening quickly and it is easy to become daunted by this, especially with the rolling news covering this around the world.

"It is important to remember that the current situation at the university is not one that should cause concern.

“We decided to let you know at the earliest opportunity about two individuals associated with the university. The first has not been to campus since he contracted the virus and is now well again. The second is making a swift recovery and their flatmates have tested negative.

“The doctors and health professionals at Public Health England have been very clear with us that there is no cause for concern and that the university can continue to remain open.

"Over the coming days and weeks it is very likely that there will be more people who decide to self-isolate and stay at home as a precaution.

“This is especially important following the very clear and most recent government advice that anyone who is showing symptoms, even mild ones, should stay at home for seven days.

“The advice is to stay at home for seven days if you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough.”

He added that the university is "keeping the situation on campus and in the city under constant review".