The Migrants Centre in Marsa has been shut down after its former residents were transferred to a similar facility in Ħal Far, according to sources.   

Marsa mayor Josef Azzopardi announced on TVM’s Xtra programme on Monday night that the Marsa Open Centre no longer has any asylum seekers.

When contacted, Azzopardi said that over the last few years, the number of migrants at the centre had declined, with “a few” present when he visited the centre four months ago. 

Describing historical problems with the centre – dormitory-style accommodation which residents were free to enter and exit from – he said that in the past it had struggled with overcrowding issues.   

 “It should have hosted up to 500, but it was overcrowded with immigrants... We are now seeing how to turn this centre into something that benefits the locality,” he said. 

In 2020, hundreds of people were evacuated from the site after a large fire broke out inside one of its dormitories. At the time, it was being used as a detention area, or initial reception area, where migrants who arrived in Malta by sea were housed while their asylum applications were being assessed, or they were relocated to other EU member states.  

While the site had returned to its original use, part of it had remained in use as a detention centre for new arrivals until its recent closure.  

The Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) - which administers migrant facilities in Malta – runs similar centres in Ħal Far and Safi. 

Questions were sent to the Home Affairs Ministry.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.