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12 April 2020 – United Kingdom

As news emerged of a second confirmed case of Covid-19 within a UK Removal Centre, Alison Thewliss – chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention – urged the UK government to release immigration detainees. In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Thewliss wrote, “The confirmation of a new coronavirus case at Brook House demonstrates the danger detainees are continuing to be put in. Now more than ever, protection must be prioritised over immigration targets. IRCs are high risk for clusters of Covid-19 with staff providing a conduit for infection to and from the community. The continued spread of the virus clearly highlights the very real risk of uncontrolled outbreaks at IRCs.”