Border Force patrols Channel for migrant boats as choppy seas ease

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A group of people, thought to be migrants, disembark the deck of HMC Seeker, as they climb aboard a Border Force rib at Dover marina in Kent, after a small boat incident in the English Channel. Photo credit: PA

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.

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.”

Some well-wishers assembled at the barracks on Saturday bore placards with messages of solidarity in English and Arabic, some of which were fixed to the barracks fence.

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

A significant policing presence was deployed outside the barracks and in the surrounding area.

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