Housing the Homeless & Caring for the Caregivers
OYO Hotels & Homes has seen over 50,000 room nights booked for government-approved purposes since the UK lockdown began, and now, with manufacturing, construction and other businesses in England being encouraged to resume operations, OYO has made further rooms available and extended its long-stay accommodation rates for essential workers.
At the end of March, OYO announced that it would keep over 2,000 rooms across the UK open to key workers and those in need of interim accommodation, with the option of significantly increasing this capacity according to the need. Fixed-rate accommodation was offered from £25 per night when staying seven nights or more, or from £32 per night for shorter stays.
Several OYO properties across the UK are now fully-booked with long stay guests, so OYO has spoken to more owners at its independently-owned hotels and over 1,000 further rooms have since been re-opened to cater for extra demand.
Those returning to work in England this month might find themselves needing to stay close to their workplace to cut out a lengthy commute, or to avoid returning home each night to a household shared with more vulnerable individuals. To take advantage of the long-stay, fixed accommodation rates, requests should be made by email to [email protected]. Last minute bookings can also be made online at www.oyorooms.com.
Guests are reminded their booking will only be accepted if it complies with government guidelines and all guests are requested to respect social distancing and best hygiene practices in consideration of other staff and guests.
With over 50,000 room nights already used or booked for the remainder of May and June, this is an overview of how OYO’s open hotels around the UK hotels are being used:
- More than a dozen hotels are being used exclusively to give homeless people a safe place to sleep. OYO has worked with local councils and a number of homeless charities to facilitate this accommodation, with those organisations providing extra welfare and support services for guests.
- OYO is taking group and individual bookings for key workers across the country who are unable to work from home and need accommodation close to their place of work. These include public sector workers such as firefighters and prison officers; and workers from the private sector.
- Accommodation is being offered to healthcare workers, including frontline hospital medical staff and those working in elderly and residential care. This YouTube video was posted by a healthcare worker who booked to stay at an OYO hotel when unable to return home.
- OYO has also put a roof over the heads of stranded travellers who have so far been unable to return to their home countries
- Councils are also using OYO properties in some areas to provide emergency council housing for those in need.
With the recent announcement that those arriving in the UK from overseas will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days, OYO is reaching out to the relevant authorities to understand the specific requirements and to identify suitable hotel accommodation for anyone without a private residence to isolate in.
Hotels under the OYO brand remain independently owned and the majority of the 200+ properties are also independently operated. With an average size of 24 rooms, each is essentially a small business which partners with OYO to add capabilities including revenue management, technology and brand.
For more information see www.oyorooms.com.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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