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Immigration: Coronavirus

Question for Home Office

UIN 129119, tabled on 14 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will suspend the in-person reporting of migrants to immigration reporting centres (a) in the event of a national lockdowns and (b) during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

21 December 2020

On Tuesday 17 March, following Public Health and Government guidance relating to COVID19 and the developing situation, we paused immigration reporting and sent an SMS text message to reportees with a valid mobile telephone number on our systems informing them of this.

On Tuesday 24 March we maintained the decision to close reporting centres and police reporting temporarily following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation. This was because we were not confident that we could practice safe social distancing and operate within a COVID secure environment.

Immigration Enforcement recommenced face to face reporting in July and August for limited, priority cohorts of people. We have implemented Safe Systems of Working (SSOW) and Risk Assessments in all our Reporting Centres where we have put in place robust social distancing measures; health screening questions are asked as a person enters; face masks are offered to those who have travelled without them; one-way systems and sanitiser stations are placed throughout our buildings. We continue to review our current reporting arrangements in line with any new local and national COVID restrictions that are put in place.

Before inviting individuals into reporting, case owners will make an assessment based on the harm that they may pose to the public, as well as the vulnerability and personal circumstances of all of those we ask to report. We continue to keep in contact with the overall reporting population by telephone to update individuals on the current reporting position. An SMS text or email/letter is sent to those required to recommence reporting informing them of the date and time they should report, along with relevant advice on COVID. We have also updated the reporting pages on GOV.UK for those who report and their representatives. This information includes how to travel most safely by public transport, avoiding both busy transport hubs and traveling at peak times; advice on reporting alone where possible; and what to do if those reporting have symptoms or are shielding and how to contact their local reporting centre.

Answered by

Home Office