Again too many asylum seekers Ter Apel: ‘Emergency shelter 2nd Exloërmond not available due to storm Louis’

For the second day in a row, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) was unable to stay within the maximum number of 2,000 asylum seekers staying overnight in Ter Apel. Storm Louis made it impossible to open the extra night shelter for asylum seekers in pavilions in 2e Exloërmond, a COA spokesperson said.

Last night, 58 too many asylum seekers slept in the registration center just across the provincial border. Due to the exceedance, COA must again pay a penalty of 15,000 euros to the municipality of Westerwolde.

According to the COA, it is not possible to use hotels to prevent exceeding the maximum. “If that were the case, we would have done so, but those people come in in the evening. We do not know the influx in advance,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the municipality of Borger-Odoorn said that they were unable to respond to COA’s statement at this time.

This morning it was also announced that ten large reception locations in the Netherlands will be closed from April. According to COA, ‘all these locations are crucial’. “That goes without saying, but we cannot say which ones will close permanently, because discussions are still ongoing.”

The COA spokesperson indicates that there is ‘no backup plan yet’, “except that additional locations need to be added”. The reception agency says it will wait until municipalities come up with locations themselves. “The long-term vision is the distribution law, which offers us perspective. We have to wait and see what comes out of the call to municipalities,” the spokesperson concludes.

It is not yet known whether more municipalities have already registered for additional reception locations.