More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel to the UK this year, government figures confirm.

A total of 972 people made the crossing in 22 boats on Saturday, bringing the total to have made the journey so far in 2022 to 40,885, according to MoD figures.

Border Force officials were seen bringing groups of people to shore at Dover, Kent, yesterday, marking the first arrivals this month following a spell of bad weather.

In 2021, there were 28,561 crossings recorded.

The highest daily total on record was seen on 22 August, with 1,295 people crossing in 27 boats.

The past few years have seen a sharp increase in the number of people reaching the UK in small boats from France.

Some 299 were detected in 2018, followed by 1,843 in 2019 and 8,466 in 2020, official figures show.

A group of people thought to be migrants walk through the Border Force compound in Dover

A deal with France to limit crossings

It comes as the UK and France are reportedly set to agree to a deal to increase their efforts to stop migrants from making perilous crossings across the Channel.

The agreement will likely significantly increase the number of French officers and volunteers who operate on Channel beaches and encourage France to aim for a higher proportion of migrants prevented from leaving.

On Friday, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna issued a statement stressing the “urgency of tackling all forms of illegal migration”.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel

Thousands to be vaccinated at Manston migrant center

Meanwhile, health authorities have said thousands of migrants passing through the Manston processing center will be vaccinated against diphtheria after dozens of cases of the highly contagious disease were confirmed in England.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it is moving with the Home Office to vaccinate migrants at the center after it revealed on Friday that 39 diphtheria cases had been identified in asylum seekers in England in 2022 as of 10 November.

The UKHSA warned accommodation settings should be considered “high-risk for infectious diseases”.

The agency said in many cases the illness had been contracted abroad and carried to the UK and it stressed the need for action to “minimise the risk of further transmission”.

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