On Monday, 8 February 2021, the UK government confirmed that migrants in Britain are eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccines.
Migrants will be eligible irrespective whether they have the right to live and work in the UK. The Government confirmed that getting a vaccine will not trigger any immigration checks. A UK Government spokesperson said that the Covid-19 vaccines would be offered free of charge to everyone in the UK, irrespective of their immigration status.
The British media reported that the UK government is planning to encourage illegal immigrants to register with a local doctor. By registering, a person will ensure that they can get the vaccine when eligible.
The UK government is planning to contact persons registered with a General Practitioner at the earliest opportunity. They will also work with other partners and external organisations to reach persons not registered with a GP, to ensure they are also offered the vaccine.
NHS Charges for vaccinations for migrants
In 2020, the Government passed regulations to add Covid-19 to the list of diseases for which there is no charge for NHS treatment. This concession is regardless of a person’s immigration status.
Persons in the UK as short-term visitors or without lawful status can use the NHS for Covid-19 treatment without charge. Even in cases where a person has to take a Coivd-19 test, and it is negative, there will not be an NHS charge.
The Government will now extend this concession for patients undergoing vaccinations and not subject them to immigration checks.
Vaccination strategy for migrants
The UK Government will not prioritise vaccinations for migrants or refugees but will focus on reaching the elderly and most vulnerable persons first.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs is delighted with the news that all migrants are eligible to receive vaccinations free of charge.
We strongly advise any readers in the UK, without the right to live and work, to contact us. We will be able to advise on ways to regularise your stay. Furthermore, if you are in the UK with leave about to expire, please contact us without delay to help you extend your stay, or apply for ‘exceptional assurance’.