Home Secretary Suella Braverman has visited the Western Jet Foil in Dover and Manston asylum sites in today and confirmed steps being taken to immediately improve the situation on the ground.
These include bolstering the 24/7 medical facilities already on-site, extra bedding and improved catering facilities, as well as providing more activities to support migrant welfare, including for children
She also thanked staff for their continued hard work.
At Manston, she saw the efforts underway to ease pressures on-site and process individuals into alternative accommodation, alongside the immediate support being provided, particularly to vulnerable people.
More than 1,000 people have been moved off-site within the last five days, helping to reduce numbers and put Manston onto a more sustainable footing.
The Home Secretary and operational colleagues agreed that the vital work to safeguard individuals and provide alternative accommodation and support as quickly as possible remains their priority, making sure that people are treated with dignity, care and compassion throughout the process.
In Dover, the Home Secretary observed the expert techniques used by operational teams to intercept, identify and process those arriving via small boats.
She spoke with Border Force officers, military, and other personnel on the ground and thanked them for their dedicated work, under difficult circumstances, to protect UK borders and save lives. The Home Secretary also reiterated her gratitude and thoughts to all those affected by the petrol bombing incident on Sunday.
The Home Secretary said: “I have met with our expert teams who work tirelessly to save lives and protect the UK’s borders. I wanted to see first-hand how we’re working to reduce the number of people in Manston, support people there, and thank staff for all their efforts.
“I am incredibly proud of the skill and dedication shown to tackle this challenging situation here on a daily basis.
“This is a complex and difficult situation, which we need to tackle on all fronts and look at innovative solutions. To break the business model of the people smugglers, we need to ensure that the illegal migration route across the Channel is ultimately rendered unviable.”
The centre had reached some 4000 people being held despite only having capacity for up to 1,600, partly due to 1,458 people detected making small boat Channel crossings over the weekend and a petrol bomb attack at the Dover migration site meaning some 700 people had to be moved immediately to Manston.
The system has also been hampered by huge backlogs in the Home Office processing asylum claims. Other issues raised this month include reported cases of diphtheria – said to be 4 in a recent Home Affairs Committee hearing – scabies and norovirus.