The newcomers arrived on eight different boats and were taken to a quarantine facility on the island originally designed for 95 people and currently accommodating more than 900. These new arrivals have brought the total to almost 15,000 entries in Italy since the 1th of January more than a third of whom are from Tunisia.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has pledged his government will take a tough stance after an upsurge in the arrival of asylum seekers from North Africa. The rise in the number of refugee-boat landings has reportedly put facilities under more pressure.
Last week over 200 refugees escaped quarantine facilities on Sicily's western coast where they had been tested for COVID-19. According to a local mayor more than 500 refugees were packed in a tent, with a capacity of 100 people.
Meanwhile the first 250 refugees have been transferred from quarantine facilities in Sicily onto a navy ship sent by the government to Lampedusa to quarantine migrants amid the COVID-19 emergency. The ship has room for 1,000 people and the first asylum seekers to board it were Tunisians.