Cumbria’s accommodation providers have been offering key workers a place to stay during the fight against coronavirus.

While hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and self catering properties have been told to temporarily shut down, exceptions have been made to ensure help is available for frontline key workers who may need alternative accommodation during the pandemic.

Cumbria Tourism said it had been approached by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust to provide them with details of any accommodation that would be willing to accommodate their frontline staff.

After putting the call out to its 2500 member businesses, Cumbria Tourism has received offers from self-catering properties and guest houses, but also offers of help with transportation for key workers.

The organisation has been working with its partners, member businesses and Cumbria County Council, as well as Leave a Light On, an organisation set up to offer specialist advice and support for anyone affected by the pandemic.

It is collating offers of help and passing them on to the North West Ambulance Service and the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Founder Richard Francis said: “What an overwhelming response from so many kind people offering to open up their homes where possible and even offering empty homes.

"We definitely have so much to be thankful for as a nation. Keep the offers coming."

Those who have offered their help include campsite The Quiet Site, near Ullswater, whose owner Daniel Holder has made his accommodation available for NHS staff, other key workers and groups of people in at risk categories.

He said: “Currently it looks as though the offer of help in Penrith, for example, is being taken-up quite quickly, so we’re making ourselves available to help in the event that the need spills over.

"Many of our accommodation areas are very spaced out, so key workers can easily distance themselves from one another.

"We all felt that offering our self catering accommodation was the very least we could do.”

Managing director of Cumbria Tourism Gill Haigh said: “It’s truly fantastic to see so many accommodation providers across Cumbria doing whatever they can to help those in need during this incredibly difficult time.

"Both myself and the whole board at Cumbria Tourism highly commend these efforts, as this is exactly the kind of teamwork and compassion which, when combined, really go to show what a fantastic community of businesses we have the pleasure of living among and working with.”

Key workers requiring accommodation, or providers who can offer somewhere to stay can register their interest here