Jamaica 50: Man deported from UK on controversial flight ‘tests positive for Covid’

A man deported from the UK on a controversial flight to Jamaica on Wednesday has tested positive for coronavirus, according to reports. He is being held in quarantine at the St Joseph’s medical facility in Kingston for 14 days, the Jamaican government told the BBC. He was tested for Covid-19 on arrival to Jamaica and was told he had the virus on Friday.

The Independent has approached the Home Office for comment and confirmation of whether or not the men were tested before being deported from the UK on Wednesday, the day England’s month-long lockdown ended. The deportation flight had already sparked outrage and accusations of institutional racism. The Independent revealed on Wednesday evening that several of the men onboard were taken off the charter flight hours before it was due to leave after legal interventions saw them granted eleventh-hour reprieves when the Home Office acknowledged they may be victims of modern slavery.

The Home Office defeated a last-minute legal challenge over its deportation policy, in which the claimants were seeking to halt the removal of any parent of British children due to be on the flight where the interests of the child had not been properly assessed. Thirteen people, among them fathers of British children, were forcibly removed from the UK to Jamaica in the early hours of Thursday. The home secretary criticised 90 “do-gooding” celebrities, including model Naomi Campbell and actress Thandie Newton, who had called for the cancellation of the flight to, according to the Daily Mail.

Windrush campaigners wrote to the Home Office and said Ms Patel’s remarks were “ill-judged and ill-informed”, and accused her of using the Windrush name to score political points.

They wrote: “We, the leading Windrush campaigners and organisations, cosigned the same letter as other leading black figures – many of whom have parents and grandparents of the Windrush generation – to express our significant concerns with her mass deportation flight to Jamaica.”