New lockdown: Manchester University students pull down campus fences

Larissa Kennelly:

Students have torn down “prison-like” fencing erected around their campus on day one of England’s new lockdown.

Those living at the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield halls of residence awoke to find workers putting up “huge metal barriers”.

They were eventually pulled down as hundreds of students – who said they were not warned about the measure – protested.

The university apologised “for the concern and distress caused”.

It insisted the fencing was not intended to prevent students from entering or exiting the site but to address security concerns, “particularly about access by people who are not residents”.

But students said the fences, placed between buildings, blocked off some entry and exit points and left them feeling trapped.

Under the new lockdown rules in England, university students have been told not to move back and forward between their permanent homes and student homes during term time. The government says they should only return home at the end of term.