‘Use Coronavirus Bill to Save Lives of Homeless People’ – Delyth Jewell AM

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The Welsh Government should initiate plans to requisition hotels rooms to safely house homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic, alongside other strong measures to protect their lives, according to Plaid Cymru’s housing spokesperson Delyth Jewell AM.

She argues that the powers contained within the Coronavirus Bill, expected to be passed into law next week, are so wide as to enable Welsh Ministers to requisition hotels to use as temporary accommodation to those in need.

France has already taken this course of action.

Delyth Jewell AM said:

“Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus because they’re more likely to have chronic health disorders and weak immune systems, and will have difficulty accessing the services they require. 

“The Welsh Government should therefore proactively seek to save many lives by using the extremely broad scope of powers contained within the Coronavirus Bill to requisition empty hotels to accommodate people in dire need. This could be done by working with hoteliers.

“Once they’re in safe accommodation then multi-agency support can be made more easily available.

“In order to provide the necessary provision, the Welsh Government should also ensure that frontline homelessness staff are given the protective gear and support they need to fulfil their duties safely.”

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