HO/SMP weekly COVID call 05.08.2021
- Negative cessations: A lot of cases have been reviewed. 250 discons have been issued over past 2 weeks. Home Office have started issuing s4 review letters and first s4 discons will happen in mid-late August. If LAs have specific requests/pressures they can use the general resumption inbox to raise them with evidence. There will be no caps on discons as Home Office now using pre-pandemic policy approach.
- Data – There are no plans to provide wider detail/commentary or data to LAs on negative cessations.
- Intake – Intake is very busy with over 3.5K claimants in July 2021 (3x more than previous year). Yesterday a record level of small boats arrivals in one day, and over 800 arrivals in August so far.
- Contingency accommodation – Intake is putting strain on accommodation estate. No of hotels options are being considered on a fast-moving basis. Pace of action means its not always possible to consult LAs before decisions are made but Home are speaking with LAs at the earliest opportunity. Home Office have moved beyond the top 20 cities for contingency sites and ministers are considering other proposals for hotels. Emma Haddad has instructed that at least 1,000 bed spaces in hotels must be available at any time. Other pressures include other demand for hotels from public, Afghan relocation Scheme etc. Some providers are looking at other options like student accommodation.
- Room sharing – Home Office made decision last year that they can use room sharing in extreme circumstances and are now looking at how this can be deployed safely in hotels.