Another 13 migrants, including a toddler, arrive at Dover – as total for April surges beyond 400


Another 13 migrants, including a toddler, have arrived in the UK after a huge search and rescue operation was launched earlier today.

The migrants were spotted this morning in a boat off the Kent coast, sparking a rescue mission involving a coastguard helicopter, lifeboats and Border Force vessels.

All 13 were taken to Dover to be processed by Border Force officials, who were seen wearing facemasks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest arrivals brings the total number of migrants to enter the UK this month to 476 – the highest monthly figure ever recorded.

None of the migrants are being tested for coronavirus and are instead being observed for symptoms, the Home Office has confirmed.

Another 13 migrants, including a toddler, have arrived in the UK after a huge search and rescue operation was launched earlier today. Pictured: Border Force officials help the migrants off a boat this morning

One of the 13 migrants rescued today was a toddler, who, pictured here, was carried away from the water by a Border Force official

One of the 13 migrants rescued today was a toddler, who, pictured here, was carried away from the water by a Border Force official

A total of 76 migrants in five boats were rescued on Friday, while another 35 crossed the Channel on Saturday. 

This month’s figure makes up more than half of the estimated 850 migrants who have made the dangerous crossing this year.

The figure is also fast approaching half of the 1,850 who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019.

In today’s rescue operation, the Coastguard helicopter assisted the Dover Lifeboat, two lifeboats from nearby Walmer, and two Border Force vessels.

The total number of migrants to enter the UK this month is nearing 500 - the highest monthly figure ever recorded. Pictured: Migrants are escorted on to land by Border Force officials

The total number of migrants to enter the UK this month is nearing 500 – the highest monthly figure ever recorded. Pictured: Migrants are escorted on to land by Border Force officials

A total of 76 migrants in five boats were rescued on Friday. Another 35 migrants crossed the Channel from France on Saturday. Pictured: Several officials wait shore-side for the arrival of the migrants

A total of 76 migrants in five boats were rescued on Friday. Another 35 migrants crossed the Channel from France on Saturday. Pictured: Several officials wait shore-side for the arrival of the migrants

Pictures show how the migrants were brought into Dover on board a Border Force vessel.

A Border Force official is seen carrying a child, wearing a life-jacket, in her arms. 

The Home Office: ‘Migrants will not be tested for Covid-19’

The Home Office will not test migrants for coronavirus when they are brought into the UK, MailOnline revealed last month.

Rather than test asylum seekers, the Home Office say doctors and nurses will examine migrants for any symptoms of Covid-19.  

Any person showing symptoms will be isolated, including those in detention centres, where special isolation areas have been set up, the Home Office has confirmed.

A spokesperson said the policy is in line with guidance from Public Health England (PHE).  

Speaking following the arrival of a group of migrants earlier this month, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘All individuals were brought to Dover and, in line with established processes, will be assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements. No issues reported.

‘All will be transferred to immigration officials. They will be interviewed and their cases will be dealt with in line with the immigration rules, transferring to detention where appropriate.

 ‘In line with Public Health England guidance, Border Force and all operational staff have the relevant personal protective equipment available to them.’

On Friday, 76 migrants – including a young girl wearing Disney-style ‘Happily Ever After’ pyjamas – were bought into Dover.

The migrants arrived from locations including Iran, Yemen, Syria and Kuwait.

On Saturday, 35 more migrants successfully crossed the English Channel in four inflatable boats.  

The first boat, carrying 14 men and a woman from Iran, Kuwait and Iraq, was found off the Kent coast at 3.40am.

By 6.35am another rigid-hulled inflatable boat (Rhib) arrived at Dover.

Some 13 men, who said they were Iraqi and Iranian, were detained.

Two hours later, at 8am, seven men from the same two countries were stopped.

A fourth boat was also being dealt with by the Border Force on Saturday evening. 

More than 60 migrants crammed in four small boats were also stopped earlier this month.

But as previously reported by MailOnline, none of the migrants stopped since the outbreak of coronavirus have been tested.  

Instead, the Home Office says it will observe asylum seekers for symptoms of the virus and isolate those were necessary.

That is despite reports that some of those living in migrant camps in France have been infected with the deadly virus.

Rather than test asylum seekers, the Home Office say they will instead be examined by nurses and doctors for any symptoms of Covid-19.  

Any person showing symptoms will be isolated, including those in detention centres, where special isolation areas have been set up, the Home Office say.

This month's figure of almost 500 migrants makes up almost half of the estimated 950 migrants who have made the dangerous crossing this year. Pictured: The migrants on board a Border Force vessel

This month’s figure of almost 500 migrants makes up almost half of the estimated 950 migrants who have made the dangerous crossing this year. Pictured: The migrants on board a Border Force vessel

The Home Office says migrants are not being tested for coronavirus on arrival, in line with PHE guidance. Pictured: A toddler who arrived with the group of the migrants is led to shore

The Home Office says migrants are not being tested for coronavirus on arrival, in line with PHE guidance. Pictured: A toddler who arrived with the group of the migrants is led to shore

A spokesperson said the policy is in line with guidance from Public Health England (PHE).   

A charity boss has previously described the situation as ‘heartbreaking’. 

Stephen Hale, the chief executive of charity Refugee Action, said: ‘It’s heartbreaking that people including young children are having to risk their lives to seek refuge in the UK due to a lack of safe and legal routes to get here. 

How are migrants dealt with when they arrive in the UK?

The Home Office say that when migrants are stopped in the Channel and brought into the UK they are first assessed to see if they have any medical need.

Those who arrive in Dover are taken to a special intake unit near the Kent town, where officers make immigration checks on those claiming asylum. 

To be eligible for asylum, the person must have left their country and be unable to go back because of fear of persecution.

Those who are likely to be eligible are moved into asylum accommodation, while those who are not, or are deemed a security risk, are moved to a detention centre, where immigration officers explore grounds for removing them from the UK.

 

‘The Government must stop talking tough and start thinking smart.

‘More routes for people to claim protection in the UK must be created, including a long-term commitment to resettle 10,000 refugees every year.’  

Meanwhile, Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said earlier this month that the government will ‘not stand by whilst malicious criminals prey on the vulnerable’.

He said: ‘Criminal gangs are using false promises to take advantage of desperate situations and illegally smuggle people into the UK.

‘We are determined to stop this criminal trade and stop these crossings.

‘We will enforce the law and we will seek justice.

‘The Home Secretary and her French counterpart have reaffirmed their joint commitment and dedication to tackling this exploitative crime.

‘We are continuing to support the French to deploy extra patrols on French beaches, drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop these boats leaving European shores.

‘To the criminals we say this – your heinous crimes will not be tolerated and we will work tirelessly to bring you to justice.’  

Around 60 migrants, including two young girls (one above), were brought into Dover on Friday

Around 60 migrants, including two young girls (one above), were brought into Dover on Friday 

Four boats (one shown above) carrying 35 migrants arrived in the port of Dover on Saturday

Four boats (one shown above) carrying 35 migrants arrived in the port of Dover on Saturday  

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said earlier this month that the government 'will not stand by whilst malicious criminals prey on the vulnerable'

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said earlier this month that the government ‘will not stand by whilst malicious criminals prey on the vulnerable’, while Dover MP Natalie Elphicke has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine.

Earlier this month, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was ‘determined’ to stop illegal Channel crossings, adding: ‘I will not stand by whilst malicious criminals prey on the vulnerable.’

Meanwhile, Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine.

She said: ‘France’s lockdown means people need permission just to walk the dog. So how come hundreds of migrants can still pile into small boats and illegally motor into Britain?

‘We know that the coronavirus has infected the French camps.

‘The French have been paid tens of millions of pounds to stop these dangerous journeys being made – it’s vital the Home Office make the French honour their obligations in order to stop the further spread of the virus into Britain.

‘I have long said that anyone seeking to break into Britain should be immediately returned to France.’

 



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