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Border Force intercepts five boats carrying about 60 migrants off Kent coast

Around 60 migrants – including two young girls – have been brought into Dover today.

It means April will be a record month for crossings as the total could already exceed 400, compared to the previous record of at least 336 refugees known to have landed last August. 

The young girls are thought to be around three or four, it has been said.

Border Force officers are also understood to be intercepting a sixth vessel off the Kent coast this morning.

The total number of migrants believed to have crossed into the UK so far this year is at least 831 – fast approaching half of the 1,850 who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019.  

Around 60 migrants - including two young girls - have been brought into Dover today. The young girls are thought to be around three or four, it has been said

Around 60 migrants - including two young girls - have been brought into Dover today. The young girls are thought to be around three or four, it has been said

Around 60 migrants – including two young girls – have been brought into Dover today. The young girls are thought to be around three or four, it has been said

The total number of migrants believed to have crossed into the UK so far this year is at least 831 - fast approaching half of the 1,850 who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019 (pictured arriving in Dover today)

The total number of migrants believed to have crossed into the UK so far this year is at least 831 - fast approaching half of the 1,850 who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019 (pictured arriving in Dover today)

The total number of migrants believed to have crossed into the UK so far this year is at least 831 – fast approaching half of the 1,850 who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019 (pictured arriving in Dover today)

Around 60 migrants - including two young girls - are thought to have been brought into Dover today

Around 60 migrants - including two young girls - are thought to have been brought into Dover today

Around 60 migrants – including two young girls – are thought to have been brought into Dover today

Migrants are given warm clothing and transferred to a processing area at a port in Dover

Migrants are given warm clothing and transferred to a processing area at a port in Dover

Migrants are given warm clothing and transferred to a processing area at a port in Dover

Two young children were among the migrants at the port of Dover this morning

Two young children were among the migrants at the port of Dover this morning

Two young children were among the migrants at the port of Dover this morning

Sea conditions were ‘absolutely perfect’ for crossing, with a gentle breeze and ‘warmish’ weather. 

Coastguard crew and the Dover Lifeboat have been helping Border Force vessels Vigilant and Speedwell in the rescue operation.

On Friday last week, 20 migrants were believed to have reached the UK after crossing the Channel.

More than 800 migrants have already reached the UK this year – four times the number for the same period last year, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel’s promise of a clampdown on crossings. 

Those arriving last week were brought into Dover, Kent, around 7am and it is thought they may have all been crammed on one small boat despite the coronavirus crisis.

Border Force officers were seen fitting face masks to the migrants. Last week MailOnline confirmed that none of the migrants stopped since the outbreak of coronavirus have been tested.

A migrant wears a facemask as he is processed at the port in Dover. Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine

A migrant wears a facemask as he is processed at the port in Dover. Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine

A migrant wears a facemask as he is processed at the port in Dover. Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, has called for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine

Migrants are processed after arriving at Dover this morning. Officials wear facemasks while they work

Migrants are processed after arriving at Dover this morning. Officials wear facemasks while they work

Migrants are processed after arriving at Dover this morning. Officials wear facemasks while they work

More than 800 migrants have already reached the UK this year - four times the number for the same period last year, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel's promise of a clampdown on crossings

More than 800 migrants have already reached the UK this year - four times the number for the same period last year, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel's promise of a clampdown on crossings

More than 800 migrants have already reached the UK this year – four times the number for the same period last year, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel’s promise of a clampdown on crossings

Instead, the Home Office said it will observe asylum seekers for symptoms of the virus and isolate those were necessary.

Any person showing symptoms will be isolated, including those in detention centres, where special isolation areas have been set up, the Home Office say.

A spokesperson said the policy is in line with guidance from Public Health England (PHE).

It has sparked Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, to call for those attempting to enter the country illegally to be sent back to France or be put in an immediate 14 day quarantine.  

Sea conditions were 'absolutely perfect' for crossing, with a gentle breeze and 'warmish' weather (pictured, the Border Force patrol the waters this morning)

Sea conditions were 'absolutely perfect' for crossing, with a gentle breeze and 'warmish' weather (pictured, the Border Force patrol the waters this morning)

Sea conditions were ‘absolutely perfect’ for crossing, with a gentle breeze and ‘warmish’ weather (pictured, the Border Force patrol the waters this morning) 

Migrants are taken to the port in Dover this morning after they were caught crossing the Channel

Migrants are taken to the port in Dover this morning after they were caught crossing the Channel

Migrants are taken to the port in Dover this morning after they were caught crossing the Channel

Border Force officers are also understood to be intercepting a sixth vessel off the Kent coast this morning (pictured, dozens of migrants have already arrived)

Border Force officers are also understood to be intercepting a sixth vessel off the Kent coast this morning (pictured, dozens of migrants have already arrived)

Border Force officers are also understood to be intercepting a sixth vessel off the Kent coast this morning (pictured, dozens of migrants have already arrived)

She said: ‘France’s lockdown means people need permission just to walk the dog. So how come hundreds of migrants can still pile into small boats and illegally motor into Britain?

‘We know that the coronavirus has infected the French camps.

‘The French have been paid tens of millions of pounds to stop these dangerous journeys being made – it’s vital the Home Office make the French honour their obligations in order to stop the further spread of the virus into Britain.

‘I have long said that anyone seeking to break into Britain should be immediately returned to France.’

A Border Force officer fits a mask to a man thought to be a migrant after being brought into Dover, Kent last Friday

A Border Force officer fits a mask to a man thought to be a migrant after being brought into Dover, Kent last Friday

A Border Force officer fits a mask to a man thought to be a migrant after being brought into Dover, Kent last Friday

Around 20 migrants are believed to have reached the UK after crossing the Channel last Friday. Some of the migrants are brought to shore

Around 20 migrants are believed to have reached the UK after crossing the Channel last Friday. Some of the migrants are brought to shore

Around 20 migrants are believed to have reached the UK after crossing the Channel last Friday. Some of the migrants are brought to shore

How are migrants dealt with when they arrive in the UK?

The Home Office say that when migrants are stopped in the Channel and brought into the UK they are first assessed to see if they have any medical need.

Those who arrive in Dover are taken to a special intake unit near the Kent town, where officers make immigration checks on those claiming asylum. 

To be eligible for asylum, the person must have left their country and be unable to go back because of fear of persecution.

Those who are likely to be eligible are moved into asylum accommodation, while those who are not, or are deemed a security risk, are moved to a detention centre, where immigration officers explore grounds for removing them from the UK.

She added: ‘Given the public health risk, anyone arriving who is not returned must be immediately quarantined for 14 days to protect public health – and safeguard the Port of Dover’s vital role in supplying the nation with food and medicines.’ 

Tony Eastaugh, Home Office director for crime and enforcement, said: ‘These crossings are facilitated by criminals. We are doing everything in our power to bring them to justice and stop this illegal activity.

‘We are working around the clock with the NCA and French law enforcement agencies to arrest and dismantle organised crime gangs. Since January 2019, 110 people smugglers have been convicted and imprisoned and over 155 people who arrived on small boats have been returned. 

 ‘And that’s not all, there are now extra patrols on French beaches, drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop small boats leaving European shores.’

The new arrivals join at least 336 who crossed the channel in April alone.

This year’s figure is approaching half of the 1,850-odd who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019.

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