Coronavirus: Heathrow Airport sheltering '200 homeless people'

April 3, 2020

Up to 200 rough sleepers are reportedly using Heathrow Airport as a refuge during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

It comes despite councils being told to house homeless people, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

 

Airport bosses did not comment on the numbers involved, but said they were working with agencies to find alternatives for people.

 

Paul Atherton who regularly beds down at Terminal Five said he had noticed many more rough sleepers.

 

The 52-year-old who works in Charing Cross said the amenities he relied on in central London had now been forced to close.

 

On 27 March, the government told councils to house rough sleepers within the week.

 

Mr Atherton has chronic fatigue syndrome. He said the airport was a safer place to be if his condition worsens.

 

"Where else do we go? That's the reality, we go to central London there is nothing open," the qualified photographer and film producer said.

"McDonald's, all public lavatories are shut. I use gyms to get showered, all the gyms are closed."

 

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