Border Force patrols Channel for migrant boats as choppy seas ease

Dozens of migrants have taken advantage of a break in choppy seas to try and reach the UK.

As winter approaches, crossings have become increasingly difficult with few believed to have successfully made it to Britain in October.

But despite the chill, low winds in Dover on Saturday are likely to see a number of people attempt the dangerous crossing.

A significant Border Force presence is operating in the English Channel, with French warships also active.

Meanwhile, local residents are expected to gather outside a military barracks in Kent where migrants are being housed to greet their “new neighbours”.

Napier Barracks, in Folkestone, has been converted to house around 400 asylum seekers, many of whom have crossed the Channel by boat.

The Home Office confirmed on Saturday that one individual who had been living at Napier Barracks has tested positive for Covid-19.

The unidentified person has been moved out of the military site.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of asylum seekers and the local communities in which they live is of the utmost importance, and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of coronavirus in our contingency accommodation.”

Dozens of well-wishers are to assemble at the barracks on Saturday to welcome the asylum seekers who have been arriving in recent weeks.

Napier Barracks
Dozens of asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK by boat are being housed at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Migrant charity worker Bridget Chapman, of Kent Refugee Action Network, told the PA news agency: “It’s a really fantastic, inspiring collection of local community groups and national refugee support groups.

“There’s a narrative that has been put forward by a group of people saying that these fellow human beings aren’t wanted in Folkestone and we know that isn’t the case.”

There are reports that counter-protesters will also gather in the area.

Kent Police said it will have a “well-resourced” presence in the area.

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