Hospitality sector provides 20,000 beds to frontline workers in coronavirus fight

Nearly 200 hotels have made more than 20,000 beds available around the UK for NHS staff and other vital workers, following a call from hospitality trade body UKHospitality.

Beds in hotels across the country have been provided by national chains and independent outposts to help house those on the frontline being deployed to areas of high need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 20,000 beds have been offered on top of the many thousands already made available by individual hotel companies.

UKHospitality has been liaising with representatives for key workers, including Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, to ensure that those helping to battle COVID-19 are supported.

Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is an unprecedented crisis and the strain being placed on businesses, key workers and the NHS is visible. At such a time, it is vital that the nation’s resources are best used to support those who need it and help us all get through.

“It is very heartening to see so many hotels make themselves available to help host NHS staff and other vital workers. The hospitality sector has been devastated by the crisis and hotels have been forced to weather a huge blow. Many companies have already looked to help by providing beds and it is great that so many more have answered UKH’s call to provide support where it is needed most.

“Housing key workers in hotels that are otherwise sitting empty will, we hope, ease the strain on those services battling to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. It could also help save hotels at very real risk of going out of business and keep people in work at a time when many people’s jobs are at risk.

“UKHospitality will be liaising with the Government to offer its support and we are ready to help coordinate any efforts to support businesses, staff and emergency services.”

Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens, Director of Service Delivery, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would like to thank UKHospitality for their support during this challenging time.

“UKH has worked extremely hard identifying businesses that are willing to provide accommodation to our Key Workers across Scotland, this assists SFRS in ensuring we have the right people with the right skills in the right place to keep the communities of Scotland safe.”

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