A pub in Greater Manchester is offering free rooms to anyone who finds themselves “temporarily homeless” because they live with someone vulnerable due to the coronavirus.
The Flying Horse Hotel in Rochdale aims to remain open as long as possible, and is taking hygiene procedures “very seriously” to prevent infection.
The team behind the hotel put out a statement on Facebook that said: “Yes we, the Northern people of Britain, are faced with some trying times and no doubt business will suffer greatly, if not fail, and we may lose some of our most vulnerable loved ones but it’s important we keep a level head and carry on regardless!
“Not because we don’t care, not because it may save the pubs (that ship may have already sailed) but because it’s what we have done for generations!
“You see what Boris doesn’t appreciate is that us northerners are made of sterner stuff! We will endure, we will carry on, we will take care of each other and this will not dampen our spirit!”
Owner Ben Boothman, 38, told the PA news agency the decision to offer free rooms came after he realised his mother needed to self-isolate alone because she was vulnerable to the virus.
He said: “My mum needs to self-isolate at home alone, and we wanted to offer rooms to people in the same situation.
“If you think you are going to put someone in your household in danger, then do get in touch. We can’t have people who are at risk themselves, but we can help in this way, by allowing them to isolate alone.”
Mr Boothman criticised the Prime Minister’s call to the public to avoid mass gatherings, including visiting restaurants and pubs.
Some people criticised the decision not to announce an “enforced closure”, which would have triggered payouts from insurers.
Mr Boothman said: “It’s foolish. This is going to see so many businesses closed down. We can budget for being closed, but we can’t budget for being quiet indefinitely.
“Like many people, we put in a normal weekly order for food. Yesterday, a night when we would have normally served 30 or 40 meals, we served three.
“We did, however, have more people coming in for a drink. But in the last few days, it’s been like someone has turned off the tap.
“We need a plan so we can know what we are doing and to reassure our staff.”