Coronavirus – Immigration Detention Centres

Thank you for contacting me about immigration detention as the Coronavirus outbreak continues.

I was glad to hear that at the end of March the High Court ruled that the Government's approach to detention and coronavirus was sensible and the appropriate precautionary measures were in place. The public rightly expect law and order to be maintained during the outbreak and it is important to remember that those currently in detention are foreign national offenders. Ministers have assured me that the Home Office will only detain people where it is absolutely necessary on a case by case basis and decisions are kept under constant review.

I understand you may have concerns for the wellbeing of detainees and staff. The Home Office is following all the relevant guidance on coronavirus and have extensive plans in place including measures such as protective isolation. Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment is available to contractor and healthcare staff when interacting with those detainees being held in isolation. 

It may reassure you to know that as detainees arrive at immigration removal centres, they are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of arrival and by a doctor with 24 hours.