There is a serious risk that Coronavirus could spread quickly throughout all immigration removal centres. Such diseases tend to spread more quickly through sites of incarceration and the risk is heightened by the fact that people in immigration detention may have recently entered the UK from high-risk countries. People are frequently moved between centres and so the infection is likely to spread rapidly across the entire detention estate, and detention healthcare facilities are ill-prepared.
In addition to those detained, the risk to all staff, lawyers and NGOs working in
immigration detention is acute. This is a crisis waiting to happen, but
the government appears to have made no preparations. We urge the
government to immediately release all immigration detainees. To do any less would
show blatant disregard for the lives of those held in immigration
BID signed a letter to the Home Office along with Medical Justice, Detention Action, Medact,
Right to Remain, Women for Refugee Women, Joint Council for the Welfare of
Immigrants, Migrants Organise, Liberty, the Immigration Law Practitioners'