The UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee has called on the government to investigate concerns that cramped conditions in asylum accommodation are putting people at risk of the virus. In particular, the Committee noted its concerns regarding reports of poor conditions in an asylum centre in West Yorkshire that reportedly breached measures to control the spread of Covid-19. The Committee has also called for information on what steps the Home Office is taking to ensure that private contractors manage accommodation to ensure its safety. On 21 April, the Select Committee heard evidence from refugee NGOs and immigration lawyers as part of its inquiry into Home Office preparedness for the crisis. During the session, the committee sought to learn more about the issues facing migrants and asylum seekers and to assess whether changes are required to the provision of support to those in the asylum system, and to examine the government’s policy relating to immigration detention and the adequacy of protective measures recently implemented in detention centres.
- The Guardian, “Coronavirus UK Live – 17 April,” 17 April 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/apr/17/uk-coronavirus-live-lockdown-last-three-weeks-dominic-raab-latest-updates?page=with:block-5e9982698f0895d83068fd07#liveblog-navigation
- UK Parliament, “Formal Meeting (Oral Evidence Session),” https://committees.parliament.uk/event/833/formal-meeting-oral-evidence-session/