Migrants Roam Free in Sicilian Town Despite Quarantine

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VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty

Migrants placed under coronavirus quarantine in the town of Siculiana have been allowed to essentially roam free, after police were allegedly commanded not to use coercion to stop them breaking lockdown rules.

Police were allegedly ordered to politely ask roving migrants to return to the reception centre under lockdown. The instructions have largely been ignored by many migrants who roam free in the town, according to angry locals.

Around the end of May, a group of Tunisians fled the reception centre despite mandatory quarantine, causing locals to protest in a local square. But according to a report from newspaper Il Giornale, migrants continue to constantly violate quarantine measures.

While police have been told not to use force, officers have attempted to block migrants from leaving the reception centre. As a result, migrants have injured at least four policemen in separate incidents within the last week.

“They know that some of them will be stopped, but many leave. Even those in quarantine,” a source told the newspaper and said that groups of between 20-30 migrants storm the gates regularly.

Similar incidents of migrants escaping quarantine have been reported elsewhere on the island of Sicily, with seven Tunisians escaping in Pozzallo and 47 escaping in Comiso in recent weeks.

The spread of the Wuhan coronavirus by migrants arriving in Italy has been a major concern since the outbreak. Such fears were confirmed after at least two migrant transport NGOs have brought migrants infected with the virus to Italy.

In April, doctor Caterina Ciufegni, who works for the German migrant transport NGO Sea-Eye, admitted that she believed ferrying migrants to Italy was more important than concerns over the spread of the Chinese virus.

“Facing people who run away from torture, coronavirus takes second place. I think we all accepted the risk,” she said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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