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Coronavirus: 300 hotel rooms block-booked in central London to help rough sleepers self-isolate during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 14:03 21 March 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is spreading across London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

The coronavirus outbreak is spreading across London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Some of those sleeping rough in London during the coronavirus pandemic will be able to self-isolate during the crisis

after the city’s mayor block booked 300 hotel rooms for the next 12 weeks.

The initiative began on Friday with a trial period seeing rough sleepers known to the authorities moved into the rooms, while City Hall, and the various borough councils will now work to make sure others sleeping rough are supported.

Sadiq Khan’s team is also working with black cab drivers, via hailing apps FreeNow and Gett, who have volunteered to help transport people between support services.

This comes after widespread concern for those unable to access safe spaces in which to self-isolate during the pandemic, particularly as in many cases those in uncertain living situations have existing health problems.

The IHG hotel group has provided the rooms to the various authorities at a “substantially discounted rate”

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.”

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