Students have just been ‘fenced in’ at University of Manchester halls in Fallowfield

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Students in university accommodation in Fallowfield have been left panicked after waking up to fences being put up around their halls overnight.

HuffPost reports that a resident inquired about the abrupt construction work on Thursday – with labourers explaining they’d been instructed to build fences as part of new security measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The fences apparently measure two metres high and were put up without any prior notice, leaving students feeling alarmed about being “locked in”.

One resident compared the setting to a “prison”.

One student wrote on Twitter: “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.”

In a statement to HuffPost, a University of Manchester spokesperson 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.”

A UoM spokesperson added: “We apologise for any worry that this has caused and would like to reiterate that all students who live on site can continue to come and go freely.”

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