Statement regarding Christmas Island

Due to global COVID-19 measures, such as flight reductions and border closures, the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) ability to remove unlawful non-citizens from Australia has been curtailed.

With unlawful non-citizens continuing to move from prison to immigration detention, and with required COVID-19 distancing measures in place within the detention network, this is placing the detention network under pressure.

To relieve capacity pressure across the detention network in Australia, detainees will be temporarily transferred to the immigration detention facility at North West Point on Christmas Island in the weeks ahead.

The cohort being transferred consists of those who have been convicted of crimes involving assault, sexual offences, drugs and other violent offences. This cohort is detained because of their risk to the Australian community.

The facility at North West Point, was successfully used as a quarantine facility for Australian citizens evacuated from Wuhan in China.

The ABF is working closely with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication (DITRDC) and Western Australian authorities to implement quarantine requirements where appropriate for service providers and ABF staff deploying to Christmas Island.

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