To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to provide details of (a) the Afghan refugees in quarantine and (b) the bridging hotels to which they will be moved on to the voluntary organisations providing vital support as at 13 September 2021, including Lewisham Donation Hub, Little Village and Re:Act.
21 September 2021
We have announced the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), working with international partners to identify those most at risk and resettle them, ensuring help goes to those who need it.
The Government will work with stakeholders, including devolved administrations and local councils, to ensure that Afghans who will be rebuilding their lives in the UK have the support they need. I urge you to encourage your local authorities to participate
The cross-Government efforts to ensure that people are brought from Afghanistan to the UK as quickly as possible has meant that it has not been possible, in all cases, to arrange local authority support. In those cases we are putting in place hotel accommodation.
Afghanistan is on the government’s red list, so all arrivals must quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine facility and take two PCR tests which can be sequenced. These rules apply to all those who have been and continue to arrive through the ARAP scheme must quarantine and anyone with rights of residence in the UK who is not exempt.
The challenge of integrating such a large number of people at pace and supporting them to rebuild their lives in safety cannot be met by central and local government alone. We will be actively working with the private, voluntary and community sectors to harness a whole of society effort to address this challenge.
As part of this, we are creating a portal where people, organisations and businesses can register offers of support. This could include volunteering, offers of employment or to provide professional skills pro bono, including helping those arriving deal with trauma, or offering donations of mobile phones, mobile credit or data, laptops, access to training, clothes and toys. This will complement the Afghanistan housing portal which has been set up to collect offers of additional housing support.