Bibby Stockholm: Asylum seeker barge gets ‘satisfactory' test results for legionella

It is not yet known when the asylum seekers will move back onboard the barge.

The Bibby Stockholm barge has received "satisfactory" test results for legionella.

In August, the potentially deadly bacteria was detected onboard the vessel, which is docked on Portland in Dorset.

This led to all 39 asylum seekers being moved off the barge.

On 22 September, the Home Office confirmed there are now "no health risks" from legionella but has not yet confirmed when the asylum seekers will return.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “We are pleased to confirm that the latest tests have shown that there are no health risks from legionella on the Bibby Stockholm, with individuals set to return to the barge in due course.

“The welfare of asylum seekers is of paramount importance. It is right we went above and beyond UK Health Security Agency advice and disembarked asylum seekers as a precautionary measure whilst the issue was investigated.

The maintenance of the water system will continue to be monitored and regularly tested by the Home Office.

Dorset Council's environmental health team took the most recent water sample from the barge on 24 August - all results were satisfactory.

The safety of the Bibby Stockholm has been repeatedly debated in recent months.

The Fire Brigades Union has previously raised concerns about the vessel's fire safety, labelling it a "potential death trap".

But Home Secretary Suellla Braverman has said she is "very confident that this barge is safe for human habitation."

The Government hopes the use of this barge and former military bases to house asylum seekers will reduce the cost of hotel bills.

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