Many migrants on Lesvos refuse to take up residence in a temporary reception camp. As a result, thousands of beds remain unoccupied.
On the Greek island this month a fire broke out in the overcrowded camp Moria. The authorities then had to arrange alternative shelter for more than 12,000 migrants.
A government official says that 5,000 beds have been arranged in a temporary reception camp in the Kara Tepe area, but so far only about 1,000 asylum seekers have reported there.
At the camp, there was a line of people receiving water, food, and blankets before entering. The migrants are also tested for the coronavirus. At least 25 people have tested positive, and that makes it even more difficult to arrange accommodation.
A source within police said thousands of other migrants on the island are reluctant to go to the tent camp. They are said to have bad memories of the living conditions in Camp Moria and want to go to the Greek mainland. “We have informed them to come to the camp, but they refuse,” the source said.
After the fire, authorities removed several hundred migrants from the island. This mainly concerns minor asylum seekers without escorts.
The government emphasizes that the migrants who have stayed behind must go to the new shelter. “Nobody leaves Lesvos without first entering the temporary camp,” a minister stressed on the radio.