Ex-footballer Gary Neville is to open his hotels free of charge to health workers to help with the coronavirus crisis in an act of “solidarity”.
The former Manchester United and England defender announced on social media that 176 beds would be available for NHS and other medical staff by closing his two Manchester hotels to the public.
The player-turned-pundit said none of his staff will be made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave.
He owns the hotels – Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange – with former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs.
— Hotel Football (@hotelfootballuk) March 18, 2020
He explained on Wednesday: “Over the last week we’ve been in consultation with the health services in the Greater Manchester area, in particular the Manchester University National Health Services Foundation Trust.
“Our 176 beds will be occupied by National Health Service workers and medical health professionals from Friday onwards.
“It is at this moment in time that I think the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity, not just for our stuff in these uncertain times, but obviously for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months.
“It’s something we’re delighted to have been able to come into an agreement with. It will be free of charge, our staff will operate in the hotels as normal.
“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.”
“It’s obviously very difficult times and we hope we can come out of this stronger as a hotel business, beyond what’s happening, but for the time being stay safe and wishing everybody all the best.”
Chelsea have also opened the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge to NHS staff for an initial two-month period.
To date, 104 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK and around 55,000 are thought to have been infected.