To ask Her Majesty's Government how many migrants accommodated in (1) Napier Barracks, and (2) the Penally military training camp, have been diagnosed with COVID-19; and whether there have been any COVID-19 related fatalities at these camps.
23 February 2021
Due to pressures on the asylum system caused by the pandemic and high intake, the Home Office had to identify available contingency accommodation and put it to use quickly to ensure we could met our statutory duty to provide accommodation to any asylum seeker who would otherwise be destitute.
Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence agreed to temporarily hand over two of their sites: the Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire and the Napier Barracks in Kent. These sites were both suitable and immediately available to be used to house asylum seekers. The accommodation, which until recently was used by the MOD is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards contractual requirements.
We have appropriate health care provision at both sites, having worked closely with the Local Health Board in Pembrokeshire and Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent. At Napier Barracks, asylum seekers have access to a prescribing nurse on site, who is linked to the local GP surgery where the asylum seekers are all registered. Transportation is made available, where necessary, to take asylum seekers to any in person medical appointments required.
Our accommodation providers have worked closely with Public Health England and Wales to ensure that all Covid-19 regulations are met and social distancing can be adhered to, including while transporting asylum seekers to and from accommodation sites, this includes the deep cleaning of vehicles and restrictions on the number of people being transported at any one time.
We do not publish figures on the number of asylum seekers accommodated in initial accommodation (including temporary) sites, however the numbers of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.
We also do not publish figures on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for, or have passed away, from Covid-19.