Hundreds of asylum seekers have been placed in a hostel where they are forced to share bedrooms crammed with multiple triple bunk beds despite the risk of coronavirus spreading, The Independent has learned.
Around 500 men are currently staying at a hostel in Southwark, south London, despite the local council having deemed the facility unsafe to house rough sleepers last year due to the inability to maintain social distancing.
A Covid outbreak at the site in recent weeks has led to a number of people being infected. The Home Office would not disclose how many. Residents have reported incidents where their roommates have tested positive, but have not been able to isolate until several days later.
Residents said more than 15 people were sleeping in some of the rooms, though the Home Office said the maximum permitted to stay in each dormitory was 10.
Southwark Council was not consulted about the plan to move asylum seekers into the hostel, and has written to home secretary Priti Patel warning that the arrangement poses “immediate risks” to both asylum seekers and local residents.