More than 300 of InterContinental Hotels Group’s London rooms will be used to allow the homeless to self-isolate during the coronavirus crisis.
The Mayor of London, with support from the government, has block-booked the rooms for the next 12 weeks to help rough sleepers, who are significantly more likely to have underlying health conditions – including respiratory problems – than the wider population.
Karan Khanna, managing director UK and Ireland for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – owners of the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza brands, said: “The current situation is unprecedented and people’s health and wellbeing must be the top priority. We are pleased to be working closely with the mayor’s office and GLA to use our hotels to contribute to the recovery effort in London.”
IHG has provided the rooms at a substantially discounted rate and will continue to work with City Hall if further block-bookings are required.
The capital’s black cab drivers have also volunteered to help transport people between support services.
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.
“Rough sleepers already face difficult and uncertain lives and I’m determined to do all I can to ensure they, along with all Londoners, are given the best protection possible.
“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.”