During the spring of 2020, the UK Government implemented a ground-breaking policy initiative (the ‘Everyone In’ initiative) to provide temporary accommodation for everyone experiencing rough sleeping and a range of other forms of homelessness during the COVID19 pandemic.

The primary aim of this initiative was to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on people facing homelessness and to prevent deaths. By September 2020, over 29,000 vulnerable people had been supported. In London, the initiative was overseen by the Greater London Authority and the 33 London borough councils, which brought together multiple services and agencies to provide temporary accommodation for over 5,000 people.

Most of these people were placed in hotels that were organised in a three-tier system of care:

i. COVID Care hotels (accommodating people testing positive for, or displaying and reporting symptoms of, the disease); ii. COVID Protect hotels (accommodating people who were asymptomatic but considered most vulnerable to the disease because of their age or underlying health conditions); and iii. COVID Prevent hotels (accommodating people who were asymptomatic and deemed less vulnerable to COVID-19).

Between June and December 2020, researchers from King’s College London undertook a rapid research project to better understand the views and experiences of people accommodated in two of the London hotels.