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Asylum seekers moving from Napier Barracks in Folkestone to hotels

Asylum seekers are being moved out of Napier Barracks into hotels.

Around 100 people will be moved over the next few days to make it easier for people to social distance at the site in Folkestone.

The barracks have capacity to house 431 people
The barracks have capacity to house 431 people

Only those with a negative PCR test will be transferred and have to self-isolate for 10 days.

A statement on the Folkestone and Hythe District Council website said: "The Home Office is responsible for Napier Barracks and in line with advice from Public Health England, the Home Office is temporarily moving a number of asylum seekers out from the Napier accommodation facility into self-isolation facilities, in order to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily.

"FHDC welcomes this decision as it means greater social distancing is possible in the barracks - reducing the potential spread of Covid."

One hotel in the district and several outside of the district will be used.

A Home Office spokeswoman added: "In line with advice from Public Health England, the Home Office is temporarily moving a number of asylum seekers from the Napier accommodation facility into self-isolation facilities, in order to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily."

Napier Barracks was first used in September last year with the capacity to house up to 431 men who are claiming asylum.

In recent weeks, the spotlight has been turned on conditions of the site as around 100 people are thought to have contracted coronavirus.

Petitions have been created asking the Home Office to close the site which has gained thousands of signatures.

Last week, through the organisation Choose Love, a letter was published telling people what it was like to live on the site.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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