NHS hospital staff are to be put up in a hotel owned by Chelsea football club, as part of efforts to help during the coronavirus crisis.
The club said the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge will be made available to medics in north-west London.
The NHS said it was “enormously grateful” to the club and was looking for similar offers of support.
The initiative came from chairman Bruce Buck and owner Roman Abramovich, who will pay for the costs involved.
“It was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff,” the club said on its website.
“Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes.
North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (NWLCCG) said: “We really are enormously grateful to Chelsea Football Club and Mr Roman Abramovich for their offer to support our hard-working NHS staff during the Covid-19 emergency.”
It added: “We’d very much welcome similar offers of support from other hotels. This really does help us keep services running at a time when the NHS is likely to be under enormous pressure.”
The hotel accommodation will be used by health staff who do not have Covid-19 symptoms, and are working long hours or are unable to travel home.
“It may also be used by staff who are not symptomatic but live with family members who have started to show symptoms,” a spokeswoman said.
Football fans have reacted positively to Chelsea’s gesture:
The Stamford Bridge hotel will be seconded for a two-month period to begin then will be reviewed.
Millennium Hotels and Resorts, which manages the hotel, will be providing services for NHS residents at the hotel.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus on 12 March and the squad was told to self-isolate as a precaution.
His teammate Mason Mount was reminded of his responsibilities by the club after being pictured having a kickabout in north London with West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Players are supposed to be continuing to train at home and are due to return to their Cobham training ground, with has undergone a deep clean, on 22 or 23 March.