Greece will begin setting up closed camps for asylum seekers on its Aegean islands in March in response to growing tensions over the migrants’ current overcrowded facilities.
The new camps, expected to become operational by mid-2020, will be designed to accommodate 20,000 asylum-seekers for a maximum of three months at a time.
The islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros will take in most of the migrants.
The camps to be shut down currently house some 42,000 people in dire conditions that have been repeatedly castigated by rights groups and the Council of Europe.
They have a nominal capacity of just 6,200, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The migrants are currently allowed to come and go freely on the Greek islands.
The closed camps will allow asylum-seekers to go out during the day, but will be locked in at night, according to a government spokesman.
The decision to create closed camps was prompted by a series of violent incidents and growing exasperation among islanders in recent months.
Islanders and local authorities opposed to the new closed camps have staged protests in recent months, as well as asylum seekers fed up with the conditions at the camps.
Clashes erupted between migrants and riot police on Lesbos island earlier this year.