Migrants who had been removed by the UK government from the Bibby Stockholm barge in August after the discovery of Legionella bacteria will be returned to the vessel next week, media reports said.
Asylum-seekers are being notified by the UK Home Office that they will be moved back to the migrant barge moored at Portland Port in Dorset in the country’s southwest, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
In a letter, the asylum-seekers were told "you will be required to move to alternative accommodation, and specifically, the Bibby Stockholm barge," and that "this accommodation is offered on a no-choice basis."
The Home Office letter says the migrants would be returned to the barge on Oct. 19, the report added.
Thirty-nine men were moved onto the vessel in August but were later removed from the barge after Legionella bacteria was found in the on-board water system.
The report of bacteria came three days after the Home Office said the first group of asylum-seekers was housed on the barge after health and safety checks were completed.
The Bibby Stockholm is one of the vessels that was announced by the government to accommodate 5,000 asylum seekers in a bid to lower the cost of hotels.
The controversial plan aims to house up to 500 men aged 18-65 on the floating barge who are waiting for the results of their asylum applications.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak listed tackling small boat crossings as one of his five priorities after over 45,000 migrants arrived in the country by crossing the English Channel last year.