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Hotels could be used to accommodate frontline health staff battling coronavirus outbreak

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A nurse demonstrates the Covid-19 testing pod in Antrim

A nurse demonstrates the Covid-19 testing pod in Antrim

PA

A nurse demonstrates the Covid-19 testing pod in Antrim

Hotels across the country could be used to provide rest and recuperation bases close to hospitals for frontline staff combatting the coronavirus, the Irish Independent has learned.

It’s understood that a decision will be made by early next week between the HSE and hotel operators.

It would likely come in advance of any plan to use hotels here as locations for self-isolation patients.

That proposal was raised by Taoiseach Simon Coveney last week, with HSE chief executive Paul Reid confirming at the time that the health service was in talks with hotels to act as self-isolation bases.

But it’s thought that the focus for now is on catering for frontline personnel who are being pressed into service in the Covid-19 fight.

It’s likely that a number of issues still have to be resolved regarding the use of hotels as self-isolation centres that will need to be ironed out.

Property company Savills Ireland today estimated that there are 60,000 hotel rooms in the country, with 15,000 of those located “close” to main hospitals.

It suggested that hotels would be “ideally suited” to self-isolation.

But given the huge push to hire extra frontline staff and the pressure they’re expected to be under in coming weeks, they could be the first to benefit from the use of the country’s hotels.

Online Editors