Coronavirus UK: Students in Manchester claim they are being ‘penned in’ with metal fences


Students in Manchester today raged about being ‘penned in’ after metal fences were ominously erected around their halls on the first day of England’s new shutdown.

Undergraduates posted images and videos on social media which show tradespeople putting massive fences around the halls of residence.   

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said that Fallowfield halls of residence will be ring-fenced for the duration of the four-week lockdown. 

In a statement, the spokesperson claimed that the fencing is ‘designed to help highlight main entrances and display Covid-19 health messages’.

But shocked students rubbished official explanations and complained of being imprisoned by university authorities as the country shuts down. 

Scores of undergraduates claimed that the fencing would have a ‘devastating’ impact on their mental health during the month-long lockdown. 

Universities have come under fire in recent weeks for clamping down on students in their halls of residence amid fears of rising cases of coronavirus.

Students in Bristol organised rent strikes and called for reductions in rent, while Edinburgh University fined undergraduates who escaped their halls. 

One student, who asked to remain unnamed, told MailOnline: ‘The consensus amongst the student population that this is incredibly dehumanising.’ 

As England was plunged into shutdown:

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended furlough to the end of March, in a sign that the Government could be planning to prolong the month-long lockdown;
  • The Bank of England pumped another £150billion into the UK economy and kept interest rates at 0.1 pc amid forecasts GDP will contract 11 pc this year; 
  • The UK’s statistics watchdog blasted No10 for a lack of transparency over the Covid-19 data used to justify the shutdown on Saturday;
  • Police chiefs hardened threats to punish lockdown rule-breakers as a gym owner in Essex was arrested and party organisers were handed £10,000 fines;
  • Justice Secretary Robert Buckland blamed the British public for the second shutdown as he claimed their failure to abide by rules led to ‘second wave’;
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that shutdown rules could be flouted to break UK law overseas through assisted dying. 

Students in Manchester today raged about being ‘penned in’ after metal fences were ominously erected around their halls on the first day of England’s new shutdown

Undergraduates posted images and videos on social media which show tradespeople putting massive fences around the halls of residence

Undergraduates posted images and videos on social media which show tradespeople putting massive fences around the halls of residence

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said that Fallowfield halls of residence will be ring-fenced for the duration of the four-week lockdown

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said that Fallowfield halls of residence will be ring-fenced for the duration of the four-week lockdown

Students in Manchester today raged about being 'penned in' after metal fences were ominously erected around their halls on the first day of England's new shutdown

Students in Manchester today raged about being ‘penned in’ after metal fences were ominously erected around their halls on the first day of England’s new shutdown

Scores of undergraduates claimed that the fencing would have a 'devastating' impact on their mental health during the month-long lockdown

Scores of undergraduates claimed that the fencing would have a ‘devastating’ impact on their mental health during the month-long lockdown

A student told MailOnline that the university had relayed ‘absolutely no information’ about the fencing and that they only told students at 3pm today.  

In an ominous development, they added that students are being told to carry ID as ‘ID checks will be randomly carried out’. 

One Twitter account said: ‘Have we not had enough tragedies at our uni over mental health?! The impact this is going to have will be devastating’. 

Another posted: ‘After absolutely no communication from the university we’re being fenced in by the University of Manchester. 

‘After asking the workers we were told it won’t be the whole way round but we have heard nothing from the uni and they’ve offered no support.’

A social media user said: ‘Imagine our uni is fencing us in for lockdown after there have been several major issues with student’s mental health – lockdown was already going to be tough for most and this is going to make it 10x worse’.

‘Think I’m speaking for everyone when I say there was absolutely no email received on any email accounts I have registered with the uni,’ a student wrote.

‘The levels of anxiety this can cause in an already tenuous time is ridiculous, complete disregard for student welfare’.

Universities have come under fire in recent weeks for clamping down on students in their halls of residence amid fears of rising cases of coronavirus

Universities have come under fire in recent weeks for clamping down on students in their halls of residence amid fears of rising cases of coronavirus

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said that Fallowfield halls of residence will be ring-fenced for the duration of the four-week lockdown

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said that Fallowfield halls of residence will be ring-fenced for the duration of the four-week lockdown

Undergraduates posted images and videos on social media which show tradespeople putting massive fences around the halls of residence

Undergraduates posted images and videos on social media which show tradespeople putting massive fences around the halls of residence

Scores of undergraduates claimed that the fencing would have a 'devastating' impact on their mental health during the month-long lockdown

Scores of undergraduates claimed that the fencing would have a ‘devastating’ impact on their mental health during the month-long lockdown

One Twitter user complained: ‘Absolutely vile to fence in students considering someone has already passed away from suicide on the fallowfield campus, with NO prior warning, despite you claiming an email has been sent, causing mass panic.’

‘Feeling like a prisoner rn and couldn’t feel better!’ one said. ‘Thank you so much this is so good for everyone’s mental health’.

Another student said: ‘Woke up this morning to find that the uni is LOCKING us in our buildings by putting up fences without any communication. 

‘As if lockdown wasn’t going to be hard enough and like our mental health wasn’t already f****d they go and do this’. 

A spokesperson for the University of Manchester said: ‘In response to the national four-week lockdown we are introducing new security measures at key entrance points to our campus, accommodation and main pedestrian routes to help keep our students, our staff and our community safe.

‘A security presence will be increased in these areas and fencing displaying important Covid-19 health messages will be installed.

‘This fencing is designed to help highlight main entrance areas, where security staff will ensure that only students who live in that accommodation can access safely and help avoid the mixing of households.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk