Detention Centres: Coronavirus

Home Office written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to (a) prevent the transmission of covid-19 in immigration removal centres and (b) protect (i) staff and (ii) detainees in those centres from that infection.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland guidance on COVID-19 and have robust contingency plans in place.

Measures such as protective isolation are considered on a case by case basis to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including shielding, single occupancy rooms and the cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing. Appropriate personal protective equipment is available to contractor and healthcare staff when interacting with detainees being held in isolation.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from COVID-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

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