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At least 1,000 migrants arrive in UK during Covid-19 lockdown

Eight more migrants were taken ashore in Dover on Monday, the Home Office confirmed.

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A man thought to be a migrant is processed by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A man thought to be a migrant is processed by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A man thought to be a migrant is processed by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

At least 1,000 migrants have now crossed to the UK on small boats since the coronavirus lockdown was announced.

Eight more migrants were taken ashore in Dover on Monday after being intercepted by a Border Force boat at 2.30am.

The number of migrants intercepted and taken to the UK since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown is now at least 1,000, according to data gathered by the PA news agency.

During periods of calm weather refugees are piling into inflatable boats, up to 50 per vessel, and making the dangerous crossing.

At least 145 migrants made it to the UK on VE Day, believed to be a single-day record.

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Dinghies tied up at the Port of Dover after being seized by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Dinghies tied up at the Port of Dover after being seized by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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Dinghies tied up at the Port of Dover after being seized by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The eight males intercepted on Monday, who said they were Sudanese, will be transferred to immigration officials, the Home Office said.

Like all migrant arrivals at Dover they will not be tested for Covid-19 but will be assessed for symptoms.

The 1,000-milestone comes amid fears of a funding shortfall of almost £1 million at Kent County Council in relation to support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC).

Kent County Council leader Roger Gough has called for a “sense of urgency” from the Government on the crisis.

So far in 2020, 160 children have been taken into care by Kent County Council.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Monday, he said: “The costs position is clearly adding to our financial pressure at a time when we, like all councils, are at massive financial pressure related to Covid.

“We certainly need a real sense of urgency on this.”

The costs position is clearly adding to our financial pressure at a time when we, like all councils, are at massive financial pressure related to CovidRoger Gough, Kent County Council

And while the council receives support from the Government, Mr Gough said this has “seldom been adequate”.

As of May 11, 469 unaccompanied asylum seeking children are in the care of the council.

Additionally, 932 young adults who were UASCs but are now over 18 are still receiving support as care leavers.

Bella Sankey, director of migrant charity Detention Action, said: “The sharp increase in vulnerable children crossing the Channel to seek sanctuary on our shores shows the Government’s strategy is failing.

“There are endless reasons these children may not feel safe in northern France, yet instead of offering them safe routes to the UK, we’ve abandoned them to dangerous Channel crossings, and fuelled criminal gangs.

“We need leadership and vision, not more tough talk and broken promises.”

PA