London’s rough sleepers are being offered hotel beds to help protect them against COVID-19.
To begin with, around 300 hotel rooms have been made available to the homeless, so they can self-isolate and protect themselves from the virus. According to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, black cab drivers have also volunteered to take these vulnerable people to the rooms.
City Hall have secured an initial 300 hotel rooms for rough sleepers to self-isolate.
Heartfelt thanks go to @IHGCorporate for stepping up, and to black cab drivers from @FreeNow_UK @Gett_UK who have offered to take rough sleepers to these rooms. #COVID19 https://t.co/20E7nCMn1s
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 21, 2020
People who sleep rough are extremely vulnerable, and are far more likely to have underlying health problems, including respiratory issues. They also may not be able to follow Public Health England’s advice on social distancing and hand-washing. This puts them at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
As part of an initial trial, City Hall is working with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) to book out rooms in blocks for vulnerable people who are already known to homelessness charities. The rooms will be available for the next 12 weeks.
This news follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday that all restaurants, bars and leisure centres must close.
In other news: new tube announcements are reminding Londoners to stay home whenever possible.
Also published on Medium.