Students caught in a Covid-19 campus lockdown in Manchester have claimed they are being falsely imprisoned, with a number of legal experts backing them on social media.
Lawyers at a chambers which specialises in human rights and civil liberties have also questioned the legality of security staff enforcing the 14-day isolation of 1,700 students at two accommodation Manchester Metropolitan University blocks.
And a Liverpool-based law firm appealed through social media to students at Birley campus and Cambridge Halls to seek its help “pro bono”, PA Media reports.
Students described being scared and confused as their accommodation was locked down on Friday after 127 people tested positive for coronavirus.
Bosses at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) told students that following discussions with Public Health England and Manchester City Council, the decision was “deemed necessary” to prevent the spread of the virus to other students, staff or the local community.
The university added: “We appreciate this self-isolation period will present difficulties for you, especially coming so soon after your arrival at the university.
“We are here to support you, and our staff are working hard with local partners to make this period more manageable for you.”
The university has since announced that students are free to leave their accommodation but “trust they will do the right thing” and continue to self-isolate.
On Sunday, Dominic Waddell, 21, a first-year filmmaking student, told the PA news agency: “I have heard people mentioning claims of false imprisonment.
“There’s a great deal of anger, people aren’t very happy with how the university’s run it, considering we’re the ones that allow them to keep running because we’re the ones that give them this money and now they’re locking us in the homes we’re paying for so it’s very frustrating.
“People are trying to make the most of it, playing board games and watching TV with your flatmates but I...