The coronavirus crisis has forced hotels across the country to close their doors amid a lockdown effort to try and prevent the spread of the disease. For five-star London hotel Claridge’s, this means shutting its doors for the first time in its 200-year history.
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However, just days after closing, the chain has announced it will remain open and offer out some of its £650-a-night suites to NHS staff working during the pandemic.
From tomorrow 40 doctors, nurses and other key members of staff based in London and working at nearby NHS trusts who can not live at home at the moment will be welcomed into the hotel.
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Claridge’s, based in Mayfair, said it will also provide dinner and breakfast to those who opt to stay.
Paddy McKillen, co-owner of the Maybourne Group, which runs the hotel announced: “Just as it has in the past world wars, Claridge’s has a duty to step up and support the people of London.
“Teams from all our hotels have volunteered to help and support the dedicated NHS workers at this critical time. We are forever in their debt.”
The news is welcomed by those workers who currently live with at-risk and vulnerable people, and so can not return to their normal dwellings.
It also aids workers from other parts of the country who have been drafted in to help with the growing number of cases.
London is currently the epicentre of the UK COVID-19 battle.
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In the city alone there have been more than 700 fatalities.
However, the capital is not the only place where free accommodation is being offered to frontline workers.
Airbnb announced it would be offering homes and places to stay to NHS and medical workers through England.
The move is part of a global push with aims to provide accommodation to 100,000 medical workers.
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While the website usually pairs holidaymakers with places to stay during their travel, Airbnb has switched direction amid the global pandemic.
Working closely with the NHS, hosts with entire homes are being given cleanliness protocols that they must abide by to ensure the safety of their families and the guests they welcome to stay.
Hospitals and NHS trusts are then being helped by Airbnb to sign up relevant staff in need of a place to stay.
Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy, at Airbnb, said: “The entire country is behind our heroic NHS and medical staff as they battle the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have made it our priority to stand with the Airbnb community to do what we can to help.
“By working together, we can ensure that frontline workers can find a free and convenient place to stay as they continue their critical work.
“We thank our doctors and nurses across the country from the bottom of our hearts and are grateful to hosts who have already opened their homes during these difficult times.”
The news comes as the global coronavirus rate surpasses 1,000,000.
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