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  • UK hotels to become shelters for homeless people during COVID-19 outbreak

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    UK hotels to become shelters for homeless people during COVID-19 outbreak

    Hotels will be transformed into emergency safe spaces, outlines a new national action plan to fight the Coronavirus COVID–19 pandemic…

    In a new action plan drawn up by government outlines that hotels will be converted into temporary safe spaces after the government was accused of “sleepwalking” on homeless people’s vulnerability to Covid-19, reports The Guardian.

    The strategy to safeguard the homeless is expected to be announced imminently following the lead of California in allowing vacant hotels to be requisitioned into homes for rough sleepers and those vulnerable to the virus.

    Hotels, which are currently empty in the wake of social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, are being seen as a ‘ready-made solution’ during COVID–19 outbreak, and some hotel chains are already in talks with the government on converting their hotels into hospitals.

    It has been reported, that, in practical terms, 45,000 ‘self-contained accommodation spaces’ need to be found in order to protect and shelter the UK’s population of homeless people and rough sleepers.

    Although ambitious, this is not unachievable, as the capacity for housing homeless people in hotels certainly exists. London alone is to have almost 160,000 hotel rooms, with further 8,000 sheltered under 65 new hotels that are projected to open this year.

    The news comes in after Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester block-booked its hotel rooms for NHS workers and InterContinental Hotel Group was the first chain to announced it was block-booking 300 beds for the next three months so that homeless people can self-isolate. The development has designed to halt the spread of coronavirus, and will mean two London hotels are given over to rough sleepers.

    Main image credit: Pixabay

    Hamish Kilburn / 24.03.2020

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