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Manchester University Erects Fences To Enforce Lockdown Measures

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Manchester University Erects Fences To Enforce Lockdown Measures

The University of Manchester has been heavily criticised for erecting metal fencing to enforce the new lockdown measures.

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Students have shared videos and photographs of the barriers being put in place on campus, with some fearing it is a way of keeping them inside their halls.

The university has since clarified that the measures aimed to reduce mixing of households and students are still free to come and go from halls or residence as they please.

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Many who slammed the move have said it could have a devastating impact on student welfare and their mental health.

Sharing footage of the fencing being put up by a number of workers, one student said they were not warned about the move.

They said: "Imagine our uni is fencing us in for lockdown after there have been several major issues with students' 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.

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The fencing was erected without many students having been warned. Credit: Twitter/@KatieAnneYT
The fencing was erected without many students having been warned. Credit: Twitter/@KatieAnneYT

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

Many others have since come out and blasted the university for the lack of communication with the student body over the fencing.

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

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"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."

While another added: "Hi @OfficialUoM how do you think this is acceptable to put fences up around our campus, our home that we should feel safe and secure in, and not even emailing us to inform us of such a disgraceful act."

However, uni bosses have since said the fencing was 'designed to help highlight main entrances and display Covid-19 health messages'.

They also apologised for students not being notified of the changes to policy and that they were supposed to have received an email.

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A statement shared on Twitter read: "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."

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Responding to one student in particular who shared a short video of the perimeter being erected, a uni spokesperson said: "Regrettably the fencing began to be installed ahead of the message being received by halls students.

"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."

This comes after England was plunged into its second national lockdown of the year, with all pubs, bars, and restaurants ordered to close - save takeaways - as well as all non-essential shops.

Everyone who is able to has also been urged to work from home.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@KatieAnneYT

Topics: UK News, Coronavirus, University, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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