Use of barracks for asylum seekers could be extended despite virus outbreak
The Home Office is considering extending the use of barracks to house asylum seekers in Kent despite Covid outbreak and reports of suicide attempts.
The Home Office is considering extending the use of Napier Barracks to house asylum seekers in Kent, despite several calls to shut the facility down amid concerns of virus outbreak. The health crisis has recently hit the site, where hundreds of asylum seekers live.
Besides, there have been reports of suicide attempts, and many residents have gone on hunger strike in protest. Reportedly, the living conditions in the military site in Folkestone are very poor, with cases where 34 people share one shower.
Charities are now calling for the site to be shut down, as social distancing is impossible and the major health crisis is “entirely predictable”.
Sile Reynolds, senior policy advisor at Freedom from Torture, said:
“It is a crisis that was entirely predictable. The repeated warnings from medical professionals and frontline charities have fallen on deaf ears. Things must finally change. Not only are these camps unsanitary and not Covid-secure, it is impossible for people trapped there to maintain any social distance.”
The military site at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, is currently being used by the government to house people seeking asylum in the UK [Picture: Belfast Telegraph]