Migrants should be housed in reception centers even if they no longer meet the requirements for housing, the Italian interior ministry said in a circular sent to prefects amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Italian interior ministery has sent a circular to prefects' offices declaring that all migrants currently in reception centers should stay there until the end of
the measures to combat the Covid-19 emergency.
Some 85,000 migrants are hosted in the Italian reception system and many no longer meet the requirements to remain in the interior ministry facilities or in the SIPROIMI reception system managed with town councils.
- asylum seekers whose requests have been rejected
- unaccompanied minors who have reached the age of adulthood
- guests of local agencies with expiring time limits
- those detained in repatriation centers beyond the maximum time allowed
The Italian government is worried that if migrants were to be released from the centers, they could move to a different region and spread the novel coronavirus across the country.
Prevention measures needed in centers
The head of the interior ministry's department of civil liberties and immigration, Michele Di Bari, thus sent out a circular to prefects, urging them to "ensure struct compliance with containment measures for the virus established at the national level within the reception facilities."
In his letter, Di Bari also reiterated ''the need to ensure that, within the
centers, the necessary hygiene, healthcare and prevention measures are
He also said that specific areas inside the
centers should be set aside to use for the application of the
measures of health surveillance, self-isolation or home stays.
Quarantine for newly arrived migrants
How does Italy currently deal with newly arrived migrants? Di Bari wrote that they will be subjected to coronavirus tests and that they will have to go into self-isolation for 14 days. "Only at the end of that period and only if no
cases of the virus have been found,'' his circular said, ''can the
migrants be transferred, if necessary, to another reception center after
the issuance of an appropriate health certificate."
Italy is been among the countries that has been hit the hardest by the worldwide coronavirus epidemic. The country has over 128,000 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to John Hopkins University. There have been over 15,800 deaths connected to Covid-19 in Italy.