Tech4COVID19 is joining efforts to create technological solutions at a time when the Coronavirus pandemic affects the whole of society. To help health professionals who do not want to risk infecting their relatives or who are displaced, the movement launched the Rooms Against COVID-19 platform, which has more than 1,000 rooms available. To date, 400 accommodation requests have been made and 130 people already use the service.
Rooms Against COVID-19 was created in partnership with GuestCentric and HiJiffy. The idea behind the platform came after a working group of around 100 people identified the need and collected a list of hotels and local accommodation units to provide rooms for health professionals at no additional cost.
To respond to the current crisis, we have seen the commitment of all health professionals. In order to ensure their well-being and the safety of all those around them, it is necessary to give them accommodation alternatives and free them from bureaucracies or burdens, argues Mrio Mouraz, project coordinator. With this platform, we want to take advantage of one of Portugal's strong points – tourism -, which boosted the creation and offer of new accommodations, and put them to the service of the country, explained in a press release.
The initiative has the support of Turismo de Portugal, which has provided a fund of 250 thousand euros to support, through industry associations, the owners of accommodation and hotels with the costs of electricity, water, gas and cleaning.
According to Lus Arajo, president of Turismo de Portugal, the initiative reflects the solidarity that the population expresses to those who work every day on the front lines of this battle, which is why it is very important to have all possible resources at its disposal. It is our wish, therefore, that many more, both public and private, join this cause now, says the official.
Rooms Against COVID-19 join the Association of Hotelaria de Portugal (AHP) and Click2Portugal, which will establish a bridge with hotels that are not available on the platform. The Accommodation Association of Local Accommodation in Portugal (ALEP) is also present and will be in charge of managing the local accommodation of the initiative and a Facebook group created for the cause.
All health professionals looking for a place to stay during the crisis will be able to book directly at Rooms Against COVID-19 or contact the project volunteers via the Facebook page. Those responsible for local accommodation who want to join the movement must fill in a specific form, and all hotels that want to participate must contact AHP or complete the necessary documentation.