- Border Force intercept 14 migrants in small boat in English Channel yesterday
- Total number this year is estimated to be at least 1,200 and 850 since lockdown
- It comes as Home Office chiefs confirm plans for automatic fortnight quarantine
- Migrants will be isolated in detention centres or asylum seeker centres on entry
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Another 14 migrants have been intercepted in the English Channel, bringing the total number who have made it to the UK since the coronavirus lockdown began to more than 850.
The migrants, who presented themselves as Syrian, Pakistani, Afghan and Kuwaiti, were brought into Dover yesterday after they were stopped by a Border Force vessel in the Channel.
The latest arrivals mean more than 1,200 migrants are believed to have been intercepted while making the perilous crossing and brought to Dover since the start of the year.
It comes as MailOnline can exclusively reveal today that asylum seekers and illegal migrants will face an automatic two week quarantine on entering the UK as part of the government's plan to tackle coronavirus.
Home Office chiefs say Boris Johnson's fortnight quarantine rule for travellers entering Britain will extend to those caught trying to cross the country's borders illegally.
Those suspected of being involved in criminal activity or ineligible for asylum will be isolated in special areas within detention centres, while legitimate asylum seekers will be isolated in specialised accommodation, the Home Office has confirmed.
None of the migrants intercepted in the Channel and brought to Britain this year have been tested for coronavirus, the MailOnline previously revealed.
The Home Office's policy since the coronavirus outbreak has been to observe migrants for Covid-19 symptoms and isolate those who exhibit them.
But now all migrants will face a quarantine on entering the UK, when the Prime Minister's automatic two week quarantine on all incoming travel is introduced.
Mr Johnson's policy, which does not include travel from France, was included in his address to the nation on Sunday and though no official date has yet been announced, is expected to be brought in later this month.
The move to quarantine migrants automatically has been welcomed by Natalie Elphicke, MP for the Kent town of Dover - where hundreds of migrants have been brought into the UK since the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Conservative MP, who has previously expressed concerns over reports of coronavirus outbreaks in migrant camps in France, has repeatedly called for automatic quarantines for illegal immigrants attempting to enter the UK.
She said: 'I've been press Home Office ministers to quarantine anyone arriving here illegally for 14 days pending their return.
'It is welcome that the Home Secretary has listened and is taking robust action so that quarantine will now happen and talks with France about returning illegal entrants are also underway.'
So far this year at least 1,200 migrants have been intercepted in the Channel and brought into the UK, including almost 476 in April alone - the highest monthly figure ever recorded.
The figure is fast approaching the 1,850 migrants who made it to Britain throughout the whole of 2019.
At least 227 migrants made it to the UK over the Bank Holiday weekend, including a one day record of 145 migrants on VE Day.
This included 51 people packed on board a single inflatable boat.
The 145 migrants dealt with by Border Force on Friday were found aboard eight inflatable boats between 2am and 9am.
This is believed to be a new single-day record after 102 were picked up on February 7, as the UK braced for Storm Ciara.
Those picked up on Friday said they were Iranian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, and Afghan nationals.
On Saturday, the Home Office said it intercepted a further 82 migrants.
Seventy of these were aboard inflatable boats, while 12 men were found at Dungeness on the Kent coast.
On April 26, 76 migrants arrived from locations including Iran, Yemen, Syria and Kuwait into Dover after being intercepted in the Channel.
Among them included a young girl wearing Disney-style 'Happily Ever After' pyjamas.
The following day, another 13 migrants, including a toddler, were brought into Dover after a huge search and rescue operation in the Channel.
Days before 35 migrants successfully crossed the English Channel in four inflatable boats.
The first boat, carrying 14 men and a woman from Iran, Kuwait and Iraq, was found off the Kent coast.
Two hours later another rigid-hulled inflatable boat (Rhib) arrived at Dover.
Some 13 men, who said they were Iraqi and Iranian, were detained.
Two hours later, at 8am, seven men from the same two countries were stopped.
A fourth boat was also being dealt with by the Border Force on Saturday evening.
More than 60 migrants crammed in four small boats were also stopped last month.
Charities have previously warned that the surge in arrivals is being sparked by poor conditions in migrant camps in France.
Clare Moseley, founder of charity Care4Calais, said: 'It's little wonder people living in France's refugee camps are desperate to make this dangerous crossing, given the awful conditions they face there.
Coronavirus has made a bad situation life-threateningly worse. People are squeezed into tiny areas, they can't social distance, and the support they relied on for survival is drastically reduced.
'These people are fleeing terrifying situations in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. They aim for the UK because they want to be safe.
'Many have family or other connections, and others know our language and want to integrate and contribute.
'Now more than ever, we need to give them a safe and humane way to have their requests for asylum fairly heard, that's the way to end chaotic and dangerous channel crossings once and for all.'
Last month, MailOnline revealed asylum seekers were not being tested for coronavirus when being brought into the UK.
Rather than test migrants, the Home Office said doctors and nurses will examine migrants for any symptoms of Covid-19 and isolate those who exhibit any.
The Home Office says the policy, which is now due to be superseded, was in line with guidance from Public Health England (PHE).
Earlier this month, the MailOnline reported that a new plan to combat the Channel migrant crisis which would see more boats turned back to France has been put forward by the Home Secretary.
Priti Patel has asked the French to take responsibility for vessels even if they reach British waters, it is understood.
Currently migrants are escorted to British ports if they reach our maritime territory, but officials believe it would undermine people-trafficking gangs if the boats are returned to France.
Mrs Patel's plan would also see the British taxpayer funding more patrols on the French coast.
A Home Office spokesman said a conversation between Mrs Patel and French interior minister Christophe Castaner had been 'very positive'.
Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said: 'We are all working night and day to dismantle and arrest the criminal gangs who trade in people smuggling.
'Last week, the Home Secretary spoke to her French counterpart interior minister Christophe Castaner who reaffirmed the commitment to carry out more returns at sea to stop these illegal crossings.
'This illegal and criminal activity is already subject to heavy law enforcement activity by Border Force, the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and French law enforcement and we will continue to take whatever action is necessary to stop this criminal trade, including changes to the law.
'In 2019 Immigration Enforcement made 418 arrests, leading to 203 convictions for a total of 437 years.
'But the recent increase in crossings is totally unacceptable and it is sickening that smugglers are willing to put people's lives at risk, including children.
'This is why we are stepping up action to stop the crossings, going after the criminals perpetrating these heinous crimes and prosecuting them for their criminal activity.'