Protesting students at the University of Manchester have pulled down fences that were erected around their halls of residence as part of measures aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus during the new lockdown.
Students living on the university’s Fallowfield campus said fences had been erected early on Thursday morning without warning from the university, and they were only able to leave through a single exit guarded by security. As well as fencing off most entrance points, the university disabled swipe cards that grant entry to buildings other than their accommodation.
The university initially said the measures were to prevent access by non-residents, and students could continue to access and leave their own accommodation subject to ID checks. However, on Thursday night the university apologised for the fences and announced they would be removed on Friday morning.
“I sincerely apologise for the concern and distress caused by the erecting of a fence around our Fallowfield halls of residence today,” Prof Nancy Rothwell, the vice-chancellor. “This was not our intention – in fact quite the reverse.”