Amidst coronavirus lockdown, 170 migrants are intercepted in the English Channel
British and French border force authorities have intercepted 170 migrants on several small boats trying to cross English Channel, according to an announcement made on 25 March. The UK authorities intercepted six separate boats carrying 96 migrants, while French authorities picked up a further 74.
The operations took place despite the state of national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Home Office spokesperson emphasised: “Coronavirus is not having an impact on our operational response to clandestine incidents and we still have the resources to deal with it.”
The UK government has also said that new arrivals would be tested for coronavirus. Care4Calais, a charity that supports migrants in France, said that the migrants they work with were at high risk of contracting the virus due to limited access to sanitation facilities. The charity wrote on Facebook: “With no running water, they can’t wash their hands and sleeping rough they can’t self-isolate.
TMP _ 28/3/2020
Photo credit: Susan Pilcher
Photo caption: Folkestone, Kent, United Kingdom – February 24th 2019: UK Border Force coastal patrol vesse, Alert returning to Folkestone Harbour after being involved in operations to bring migrants ashore