Mr Hancock, the Health Secretary, told the BBC on the 15th March that hotels could be converted into makeshift hospitals. At this time, several owners came forward to offer their properties to health workers including Gary Neville and Roman Abramovich. It is known that the Government is in discussion with the UK hotel chains to turn their properties into temporary hospitals to provide the NHS with emergency bed space and staff accommodation.
This Guardian article commented at the time that Best Western’s first hotel to be turned into a hospital support site was to open in south London, with bedrooms being used to house lower-risk patients i.e. those who are require further care unrelated to Coronavirus and NHS staff. Whilst the Saga Group offered two cruise ships as floating hospitals or as NHS staff accommodation.
With the NHS under increasing pressure for bed spaces and many hotels being empty, this might seem an ideal solution. But remember, hotel bedrooms are a haven of soft furnishings that you do not find in a hospital. With acres of carpet; bedroom throws and cushions; and thick curtains, these are not the environment where a patient recovering from Coronavirus can stay. Who knows if they could be a super spreader? By accommodating the lower risk patients, the hotelier will worry less about how to deep clean these rooms before they return to their normal use – a hotel business again.
If you need help to bring your hotel back on line following its repurpose or moth balling; or advice on cleaning and disinfection, then do get in touch.
If you need help ensuring your hospitality business survives the coronavirus threat, then do get in touch.