UK Border: Covid Protections

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 26th January 2021.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:36 pm, 26th January 2021

It is important for the hon. Member to understand that the accommodation facilities that we are using are military bases that are of a very high standard—so much so that they were housing and accommodating our service personnel, men and women, prior to the base being made available to asylum seekers. The reason the base was made available is that in line with Public Health England guidelines, because of coronavirus, we need space for social distancing, which has been absolutely in place. These accommodation sites are in line with PHE guidance—we have always checked guidance and worked with PHE throughout coronavirus when it comes to accommodation. [Interruption.] I can see the hon. Lady shaking her head—perhaps she would like to listen to the facts and not some of the jaded views that she may hold herself. Alongside that, the reason we have removed a number of asylum seekers over the weekend is actually to protect others from catching coronavirus. That is absolutely the right thing to do, because public health and public safety are important, and that, of course, is in line with PHE guidance.