RESIDENTS in Hoylake have raised public health concerns after around 50 asylum seekers were accommodated at a hotel in the town.
They are staying temporarily at Holiday Inn Express Liverpool – Hoylake, through an arrangement with Serco, which has the Government contract on asylum seekers' accommodation during the coronavirus crisis.
But the decision has prompted concern from locals, who say there was no communication with the public.
There have been reports of visitors "paying no heed of the need to keep their distance" through social distancing measures, with some seen walking along the town's promenade with no face masks on.
A spokesperson for the hotel confirmed it had been chosen to accommodate people entering the UK along with many other hotels in towns and cities across the country.
He added that all of those taken in had been tested for Covid and results were negative.
One local said: "We need to be sure that those in charge of the arrangements have thought things through, not just for the benefit of locals, but for the future and comfort of the immigrants.
"Will they be taught the absolute need to observe current and future health requirements.
"Who, or what authority is answerable to public questions around this unannounced development?
"You may think, and some may accuse the questioners of nimby-ism. However, the importance of the above and many other questions is for clarity, for safety, and for the future comfort of everyone, not just the immigrants – many of whom have suffered so much."
Marc Wildes, group managing director of Wildes Group, which owns the hotel told the Globe: "Our hotel in Hoylake – Holiday Inn Express has been chosen to provide temporary accommodation to immigrants that have entered the United Kingdom along with many other hotels in towns and cities across the UK.
"All of them have been tested for Covid and results were negative."
Jenni Halliday, Serco contract director for asylum seeker accommodation, told the Globe: "Serco has been working extensively with the local community through the local authority officials, the Police, NHS and charities to prepare for the arrival of these vulnerable asylum seekers into the community.
"The overall reaction has been incredibly supportive and we are extremely grateful for the constructive approach that has been taken by most people.
"Serco has taken all appropriate measures and precautions to look after the asylum seekers in our care in line with Government and PHE guidelines and instructions.
"All the asylum seekers are issued with robust PHE approved written guidance on Covid-19 in respect of social distancing, self-isolation and advice on personal hygiene/self-care
"Serco is also working closely with the Police to ensure that, as with any other member of the population, if any individuals do not follow social distancing guidance when outside the hotel, that we work together to reinforce this message."
Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood said: "A number of asylum seekers have been placed in temporary accommodation in Hoylake.
"I trust that local residents will welcome them and be mindful of the fact that anybody who arrives in this country under such circumstances is likely to have been through extremely difficult and potentially harrowing experiences.
"I understand that the Home Office and Serco are working with the local authority to provide people with the support that they need during this time."