Illegal Migrants continue to pour into UK despite Covid travel restrictions

Nearly 300 migrants have already made illegal crossings over the English Channel in 2021, despite travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The weekend saw UK border officials initially bring ashore five rubber dinghies with 49 migrants aboard in bitterly cold conditions, followed by two more crossings, bringing the total up to 92. Exactly the same number of migrants saw their hopes dashed by French authorities who intercepted them aboard flimsy vessels bound for the UK.

Immigration Minister Chris Philp said: “The Government continues to undertake substantial measures to tackle this unacceptable problem of illegal migration.

“In January we introduced new rules which mean we can treat asylum claims as inadmissible if they have travelled through safe countries to get to the UK.

“These crossings are illegal which is why we are pursuing the criminals behind these crossings, returning migrants who have no right to stay in the UK to safe countries and will continue to do everything we can to make this route unviable.”

The weekend figures bring the total for the year up to 285 amid growing concerns the UK could face yet another year of scores of migrants making the illegal journey from France.

Arrivals to the UK from Covid hotspots are required to have a recent negative Covid test as well as a passenger declaration form and must quarantine at home for ten days. Countries in which new variants of the virus are circulating have been placed under travel bans.

In 2020, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to make the route from Northern France “unviable” and described the number of crossings as “appalling and unacceptably high.” The volume of crossings over the weekend will come as troublesome news to the majority of British voters as the illegal migrants are arriving without Covid negative tests and are therefore putting British residents in danger.

The sheer volume of migrants arriving illegally on British soil has led to temporary centres such as Napier Barracks being set up to house them. Migrants have protested over the conditions at the camp, and nine arrests were made after a fire broke out at the former military facility.

Patel described the scenes as “deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country who are providing this accommodation while asylum claims are being processed.”