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Homeless to be shifted to five-star hotel to protect them from COVID-19  

In an effort to protect homeless people from the novel coronavirus, they will be moved from the streets and into rooms at a $260-a-night five-star hotel.     

The West Australian government, under its ‘Hotels with Heart’ pilot, is planning to accommodate homeless people at Pan Pacific hotel in Perth.

The trial program is aimed at protecting the homeless and the community from the spread of COVID-19.

There will be 20 rough sleepers used in the one-month trial, who are unable to self-isolate during the COVID-19 threat, Mail Online reported.

The starting price for accommodation at Perth’s Pan Pacific hotel is $170 a night at the Deluxe Room, with the most expensive rooms costing $260 a night.

The program could be expanded to accommodate victims of domestic violence and those suffering from mental health issues if successful. It would then use 120 rooms at the hotel.

The development of the trial came after a task force was set up last week to address homelessness during the pandemic.

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the state government recognises there are a number of groups who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

‘The Hotels with Heart pilot learns from similar initiatives happening interstate and around the world, including in the United Kingdom, America and Canada,’ she said.

‘It demonstrates what can be achieved when there is collaboration across the private, community service and government sectors.’

Ms McGurk thanked Pan Pacific Perth for ‘stepping forward’ during the health crisis.

‘With the help of community service organisations, this initiative will take the pressure off the health system in Western Australia and potentially help to flatten the curve as the State fights to stop the spread of COVID-19,’ she said.

‘The Hotels with Heart pilot also aims to sustain our hotel sector for when the COVID‑19 threat is eliminated.’

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