London's rough sleepers are being offered the chance to self-isolate in hotel rooms for the next three months, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanks to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, 300 trial rooms across two central London hotels have been made available to rough sleepers needing to self-isolate. This is important not only because self-isolation is nigh-on impossible for those living on the street, but also because rough sleepers are significantly more likely to have underlying respiratory conditions. Therefore they are much more at risk of coronavirus.
The rough sleepers are being moved into the hotel rooms — owned by the Intercontinental Hotel Group — over this weekend. On top of the original 300 rooms, an additional 50 are believed to have been secured for other rough sleepers, and there is the possibility of more being needed over the coming weeks.
Thank you so much for the amazing response to this. We’ve now met our immediate need, but we are likely to need more rooms in the near future.— Tom Copley (@tomcopley) March 21, 2020
Your help will save lives. I can’t thank you enough #covid19
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
The coronavirus outbreak affects everyone in London and we must do all we can to safeguard everyone's health — not least those Londoners who face spending each night sleeping rough on the capital's streets.
My heartfelt thanks go to InterContinental Hotels Group for stepping up and playing their part in helping protect rough sleepers during this difficult period. We are also very grateful to the black cab drivers from FreeNow and Gett who have offered to transport rough sleepers to these rooms, helping them to avoid using public transport.
Together, as a city, we will come through this incredibly challenging period.