Asylum: Napier Barracks

Home Office written question – answered on 25th January 2021.

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Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on how many calls have been made to Migrant Help from residents at Napier Barracks since it started being used as asylum accommodation.

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the ratio is of bathrooms to residents at Napier Barracks.

Photo of Holly Lynch Holly Lynch Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers are currently being housed at Napier Barracks; and how many of those people have tested positive for covid-19 in the most recent period for which figures are available.

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

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating. Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has.

We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

The accommodation at Napier has been arranged to allow for social distancing and Covid safety in line with public health advice. This includes limiting occupancy of each dormitory to a maximum of 14 persons, with each dormitory effectively operating as a separate household on site.

There is a ratio of 1:5 showers, these are separate showers inside and in portable units. There is also a ratio of 1:5 toilets and additional urinals inside the blocks and separate toilet cubicles inside portable units.

The Home Office does not publish information on the number of telephone calls made to Migrant Help from asylum seekers. This not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

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