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COVID 19 updates + multi-lingual resource (12th March)

No charges for testing and treatment for COVID 19

There are strong concerns that people may be deterred from seeking testing or treatment for COVID 19 for fear of being charged due to their immigration status (in accordance with the NHS Charging Regulations).

Please note the link below to Government guidance which states that Coronavirus testing and treatment will not be chargeable.

From the guidance:

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been added to Schedule 1 of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations.
This means, as for any other infectious disease in Schedule 1, there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis, or, if positive, treatment, of this coronavirus.
No charge applies to a diagnostic test even if the result is negative. Also, no charge can apply to any treatment provided up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed.

Multi-lingual resource on COVID 19

This has been compiled by Public Health England West Mids with links to information on COVID 19 in a range of languages and from a range of countries.

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Update from Home Office on the impact of COVD 19 on asylum accommodation

We have been working closely with colleagues in Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and Public Health England to ensure we have appropriate arrangements in place. I can now summarise for you the current position.

When encountered, asylum seekers are being screened by Home Office staff (including Border Force and Immigration Enforcement officials) to ascertain whether they have travelled through, or have had contact with someone who has travelled through, a Category 1 country in the past 14 days.  Questions are specifically asked to assess their travel history and then broadly they will follow one of three routes:

  • For those who present with symptoms of coronavirus, NHS 111 will be called and their care and isolation will become the responsibility of the NHS.
  • For those who do not meet any of the current risk categories provided by Public Health England, then if they require support they would follow the normal route through our accommodation.
  • Anyone who is considered to pose a risk as a result of their travel history or association are routed to a self-contained hotel in London where they will be supported to self-isolate for the requisite 14 days. This facility is similar to others that have been set up for other cohorts of people.

I should clarify that the process for claiming asylum and asylum support remains the same, in addition those placed in isolation will be supported via telephone by Migrant Help, to ensure that applications are processed in a timely and efficient manner.

The Home Office is also working with Accommodation Providers to manage any cases that occur within the Dispersed accommodation estate, these numbers, at this stage, will be low given that most in DA will not have a travel history that places them at risk.

Paul Bilbao

Head of Asylum Support Contracts and Finance

Resettlement, Asylum Support and Integration

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