UK hotel chains across the country are being converted into temporary hospitals to provide the NHS with emergency bed space as well as accommodation for medical staff. Hilton, Holiday Inn and Best Western GB are some of the hotel chains in talks with the government about rooms given to vulnerable groups and NHS staff.

The collapse in commercial bookings has hit hotel chains hard, with hundreds of vacant rooms. Martin Bradnam, Chair of Hospitality Association York (HAY), said: “A lot of the properties that focus on conferences are seeing cancellation by people affected by the travel bans with companies saying ‘is the meeting necessary?’” he told York Press. “That affects us because in our industry, mid-week we welcome a lot of corporate guests.”

It is also reported that Roomzzz Aparthotels, which has branches in Chester, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and York, is offering 10 free rooms in each hotel for NHS workers. Intercontinental Hotels Group has also marked out 300 bed for the next three months so rough sleepers can self-isolate.