Sep 20, 2020 09:11 UTC
  • UK Home Office plans to evict asylum seekers despite warning of second wave of coronavirus

Thousands of asylum seekers currently accommodated in hotels across the UK are becoming homeless despite warnings of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those who have claimed asylum in Britain, but had their cases refused, will begin receiving notices to leave within 21 days from this week, according to a letter from the Home Office, seen by the Independent.

This comes in spite of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing Friday that the UK is “now seeing a second wave” of coronavirus and that it was “inevitable” that the country would be hit by the pandemic again.

Meanwhile, charities and MPs described the move as “reckless and irresponsible,” arguing it would put both asylum seekers and the public at risk.

They also accused the government of making already cash-strapped local authorities and third sector groups responsible for its actions.

The Home Office has made the decision despite its March announcement that asylum seekers would not be asked to evict their accommodation once their claim or appeal had been decided, as a protective measure against the infections disease.

The director general of UK Visas and Immigration said, in a letter to charities on Tuesday, that individuals with negative decisions would be served eviction notices “with immediate effect” in England.

The Home Office has recently closed one immigration detention center, Morton Hall, and is using Yarls Wood, another center, to process asylum seekers who arrive from northern France.

The move was “completely out of line” with the wider messaging from central government about the importance of safety precautions amid the pandemic, said Renae Mann, National Director of the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM), which supports destitute migrants in the UK.

Mann also said the move ignored the reality for the charity sector, which she said would “bear the impact” of asylum seekers being removed.