The end of the tunnel appears to be within sight as Boris Johnston announced a phased release from the third lockdown imposed on us. What have we done to maintain hospitality, probably one of the worse hit sectors, during this time?
Londoners in Lockdowns
London is well known for the ‘get on with in’ mentality and ‘blitz spirit’ of the British population. It is with this attitude that the nation went into the first lockdown back in March 2020. The spring and summer brought out the glorious weather, and despite our media putting their oar in, with pictures of us all in the parks, we continued to persevere. The big push came when the variant known as the ‘Kent’ variant, as it was first discovered there, struck us, and the cases soared exponentially every day. This mounting pressure on the NHS was unsustainable, and the change to stiffer Christmas plans and the third lockdown in January has helped enormously ease that strain. Now as we enter what we all hope is the final stage, with the introduction of fast and efficient vaccines, London can shine once again.
During the pandemic, one of the most vulnerable groups were the homeless, with nowhere to shelter or quarantine. In collaboration with charities and the local authorities, London Hotels Group worked to accommodate the homeless within the now vacant hotel rooms. A surprise visit from Amir Khan really cheered them up back in 2020; that story is here. Further work with Gama Healthcare saw a large number of care packages distributed to the homeless; read more on that story here.
Not quite home from the hospital
Another initiative saw some of the vacant hotel rooms turned over to the NHS for patients well enough to send home but needing to quarantine before doing so. This scheme made a big difference in the availability of hospital beds for those who needed them most. We were one of the first hotels to provide this service, and you can read about it here
Hospitality helping the NHS
Another way we have utilised the hospitality within our hotel group is by providing accommodation for NHS staff. These staff members may have been drafted into London to help the stretched services at the height of the pandemic. Or they may have been shielding or quarantining from their own family.
Quarantining returners to the UK
Throughout the pandemic, people have still needed to travel for work. Examples are scientists working on vaccines and charity workers helping to organise help in poorer countries. On returning to the UK, they have often needed to quarantine before going to their own homes. Staying in one of our rooms has helped them to keep us in the UK safe.
Helping us keep our new residents safe
We installed some state of the art equipment to help clear the air. The Viruskiller,
Meher himself conducted a webinar which you can access here. We installed 2500 of these in all our hotels and 1500 rooms, along with the heightened cleaning regimes and the usual sanitisers you’d expect to find in hotels. If you’d like to see more in-depth information on the Viruskiller, try the Radic8 website.
We do hope you have enjoyed this look at how we have maintained our hospitality throughout the pandemic. Although we hope to welcome you through our doors again in the future, so you can explore London and all she has to offer.