Frontline NHS workers will be offered free places to stay by Airbnb during the coronavirus pandemic.
Homeowners who list their properties through Airbnb are able to opt in to the programme and offer an entire home, with Airbnb waiving all fees for the stays.
So far, 1,500 places to stay have been offered in the UK on the accommodation marketplace website.
Worried NHS workers have been speaking out about the tough realities of commuting in packed trains alongside other commuters that the government says can still go into work if they are unable or not allowed to do so from home.
“As health workers we take the two-metre rule really seriously – and I don’t think other people are because they’re just sitting next to each other on the trains. It’s quite stressful,” a member of the NHS told Sky News recently.
Airbnb has been running a scheme in other countries to put up healthcare professionals and other emergency service staff to help them stay nearer work during the COVID-19 crisis.
Now it has officially teamed up with the NHS to expand the offer in Britain.
The support will be offered to hospitals and trusts directly to help their healthcare workers book accommodation.
Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said “the entire country is behind our heroic NHS and medical staff”.
“We have made it our priority to stand with the Airbnb community to do what we can to help,” he continued.
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“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.”