Footballer Gary Neville is opening his hotels to NHS staff for free
Gary Neville has announced that the two hotels he part-owns with former Manchester United team-mate, Ryan Giggs, will be made available free of charge to NHS workers.
Neville's two Manchester hotels will be closed to the public, freeing 176 beds for NHS and other medical staff.
The former United captain said none of his staff will be made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave.
Hotel industry needs to show solidarity
"It is something we are delighted to have been able to come to an agreement with," Neville said.
"It is at this moment in time that the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months.
“The health workers will be allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever in these next few months when they need isolation away from family members who may be affected by what’s going on.”
Both hotels will be closed to the public on Sunday and available to health workers from Friday, after consultation with the health service in Greater Manchester.
"Our staff will operate the hotel as normal when health workers are allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever when they need isolation away from family members who might be affected," explained Neville.
Chelsea have also offered to help
This comes after Premier League club, Chelsea, offered NHS workers free accommodation for the next two months in the Millennium Hotel at its Stamford Bridge ground to help with the Covid-19 outbreak. The cost of the rooms will be covered by club owner, Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea said in its statement on Wednesday (18 Mar), "Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes. Local accommodation helps maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time.
"This will be for a two-month period, and then reconsidered in light of circumstances at the time. NHS staff will be those working in hospitals in the North-West London region, but that may extend to hospitals in other districts."