Homelessness activists have written to the government demanding urgent action as local authority efforts to house rough sleepers have not gone far enough.
There remain too many barriers to giving homeless people suitable accommodation where they can shelter from the spread of the virus and self-isolate if they become unwell, campaigners from Crisis, Homeless Link and Thames Reach said.
Last week the government asked local authorities in England to take in all rough sleepers and homeless people in hostels – the first move of its kind in Westminster history.
But it’s not enough to protect vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak, campaigners said, and the charities are concerned by stories of councils “denying help to people on the basis of them not having a local connection to the area” or turning away people who have no recourse to public funds, including asylum seekers.
Homeless people are particularly at risk during the Covid-19 crisis not least because they are three times more likely to have an underlying health condition as the rest of the population.
Open letter & briefing for the PM @10DowningStreet from @crisis_uk, @HomelessLink, @PassageCharity, @homelesslondon, @ItsGroundswell and @ThamesReach on protecting people facing homelessness from coronavirus.#everyonein#endhomelessness#COVID19https://t.co/mJwG9nko4m
— Jon Sparkes (@jon_sparkes) April 3, 2020