Government urged to take extra measures to help homeless people impacted by coronavirus

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to make clear what additional measures it will take to help homeless people as the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate.

Writing to the Secretary of State for Housing and the Secretary of State for Health, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran warned the homeless are “some of the most vulnerable people in our society”.

Education spokesperson Layla Moran

The Liberal Democrat MP has asked for “an action plan” from the Government, including clarity on whether health checks be administered, especially for rough sleepers, and if emergency accommodation can be provided so that people can self-isolate.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said: “We need urgent clarification and an action plan from the Government about how it seeks to help homeless people as the coronavirus situation continues to escalate.

“So far, this government does not appear to have thought about homeless people at all. Stakeholders and charities are still waiting for information on what the Government is going to do. Meanwhile, members of the public do not know what to do if they find a homeless person who they suspect has COVID-19 – they want to help, but don’t know how.

“We need a proactive action plan. Will health checks be administered, especially for rough sleepers? Will emergency accommodation be provided?

“The Government must act now, before what is an emergency for homeless people in our country becomes a crisis.”

Matthew Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs for Crisis, added: “Crisis is urgently requesting guidance from the Government on how to protect people who are homeless, specifically rough sleepers, against coronavirus. People sleeping rough are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to have a range of existing health conditions and face specific challenges in that they may be unable to regularly wash their hands, nor can they self-isolate if they feel unwell.

“This guidance must set out what measures Government is taking to ensure rough sleepers get appropriate health checks, what accommodation will be provided so that people can self-isolate and advice for the public on how best they can support people who are homeless during the coronavirus outbreak.”

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