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  • Writer's pictureSarah Taal

COVID-19 Updates Continued

Benefits H/ Job Centre Update

People receiving benefits do not have to attend JobCentre appointments for at least 3 months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the JobCentre in person are suspended.

Right to Remain Updates

Reporting Suspended

The Home Office has updated their GOV.UK website on reporting stating that the Home Office has decided that reporting should be "temporarily deferred" and people will receive an SMS with details of next reporting event.

Help with health costs

The link below will allow you to apply online for help with your health costs:

These further links should help you make an application for help with your health costs:

If you have already paid for any health costs recently, you may also find this link useful:

Refugee Council Policy Updates

Our summary of the key changes to Home Office and DWP policy & practice in response to Covid-19 is now live and can be found at:

Doctors of the World

DOTW's advice line for service users remains open (10am to 12 midday, Monday to Friday) on freephone 0808 1647 686. Please note as these calls are being picked up remotely, there may be a longer delay than normal.

If you’re calling from an organisation, you can call our office line: 0207 0789 629 or email (both also being picked up remotely).

We have suspended drop-in services from our Stratford Clinic. Remote video (or phone) consultations with a volunteer GP are available for people struggling to access primary care. To access this, you should call our advice line.


The link to the COVID-19 page of our website is here:

· Central England Law Centre have suspended face-to-face appointments. For further details see

· 20.03.20 – Asylum Matters Update:

UKLGIG and the Red Cross have set up two Google groups to facilitate communications in the refugee and migration sector on coronavirus. The COVID-19 operations group will focus on service delivery, support and sustaining organisations. The COVID-19 policy group will discuss policy and advocacy efforts around migrants and refugees and COVID-19

If you would like to join either or both groups, please email Catherine at UKLGIG ( or Leila (

Help refugees, Choose Love

@UNHumanRights #CEDAW: “only by including all people in #COVID19 strategies can the pandemic be combatted” - We must ensure protection for #asylumseekers on #Greek islands. We call for relocation and sufficient health care to avert a public health crisis

Joint Statement: Greece: Move Asylum Seekers, Migrants to Safety, Immediate Hotspot Decongestion Needed to Address COVID-19 24.3.2020

Greece’s government should immediately reduce congestion in the islands’ Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) for asylum seekers and migrants to avert a public health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations said today.


"The groups that you mention will receive the Home Office funding they need and deserve" @BorisJohnson when asked by @Stuart_McDonald about support for asylum seekers, people whose asylum claim have been refused & all who are prohibited from access to public funds #support4all 26.3.20

MARAC resource

I just wanted to take the time to share a new ST MARAC resource with you. As an organisation that co-ordinates 5 MARACs across London the MARAC team have been working hard to put a plan/ process in place in light of COVID 19.

This was devised using our knowledge of co-ordinating MARACs in London but has been widely accepted by our partners and commissioners and we wanted to share it far and wide to support the sector at this time.

This link opens straight to the PDF:

You can also access via our main MARAC page, which is here

Homeless Link

Covid 19 groups

Please find links to two Google groups open to voluntary sector; you should be able to join them through the links.

For third sector operations

For third sector policy group

Refugee council

Just a quick note to let you know that in the last 24 hours we’ve updated our Covid-19 Policy page with the following:

· Added a section on Asylum Support Appeals (#6)

· Added a section on Statelessness applications (#10)

· Added a section on the new NHS register for vulnerable people (#14)

· Updated the section on Detention (#8) to reflect the measures introduced as a result of the legal challenge by Detention Action

· Added a section at the bottom of the page called ‘Other useful Info’ which includes links to the DOTW translated materials and translated info from Public Health England.

We will continue to update the page on a daily basis.

Detention Action Press Release

Over 350 released from immigration detention and all cases to be urgently reviewed

The High Court today heard evidence in human rights charity Detention Action’s legal challenge over the Government’s failure to safeguard all those held in UK Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) from Covid-19. Following the hearing, the Court issued an oral judgment refusing the application for interim relief and setting out the commitments made by the Government in response to the legal challenge.

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