Dover MP Calls for Illegal Migrants to Be Put on Same Quarantine ‘Red List’ as Legitimate Travellers

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The Member of Parliament for the Port of Dover has called for illegal migrants to be put on the same quarantine “red list” as legitimate travellers, including British citizens, entering the United Kingdom from high-risk countries.

Despite having refused to put controls on travel from coronavirus epicentres such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, China, and even Wuhan itself in the early stages of the pandemic, the Boris Johnson administration has now created a ‘red list’ of some 33 countries from which travel is banned, except for British citizens and residents, who are required to quarantine in hotels upon return.

Backbench MPs are now questioning why this regime is not applied to illegal migrants, many of whom arrive on packed people-smuggler boats and may be from, or have been in contact with people from red list countries. Coronavirus infection rates in northern France are 15 higher than in Dover.

“I would like to see a compulsory period of quarantine in order to reduce the transmission risk when the countries of origin cannot be properly identified and confirmed,” said Natalie Elphicke MP, whose constituency was for many years ground zero for illegal migration into the United Kingdom, and remains a major drop-off point for the British authorities after they collect boat migrants at sea and bring them the rest of the way to England instead of taking them back to France, in comments reported by the Telegraph.

“It should be similar to the quarantine imposed on people returning from high-risk countries. The same approach should be applied to people who are arriving illegally and the assumption should be that they may have travelled through a higher-risk country.”

“The Home Office needs to apply at least the same quarantine restrictions as they do for people from ‘red list’ countries, not least because of the infection rate in northern France,” agreed Tim Loughton, a fellow Conservative MP and former government minister who sits on the Home Affairs Select Committee.

“That’s not happening. They have been sending them to Brooke House [an immigration centre near London Gatwick airport] as well, which is not geared up to deal with boat migrants. Others have been at liberty to wander as they wish. Absolutely, they need to be subject to the same regime.”

Unlike illegal migrants, who are housed in hotels and in some cases accommodation based at former Army barracks at the British public’s expense, legitimate travellers from red list countries are required to pay for the hotel rooms where they are forcibly quarantined themselves.

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