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COVID-19: NHS staff offered thousands of free meals and cab rides

Restaurant, food delivery and cab firms rally to support front-line workers during pandemic

Picture of a cyclist with a food delivery. Restaurant chains, cab and bus firms are rallying to support NHS staff during the pandemic
Picture: iStock

NHS staff are being offered free meals and transport as a gesture of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ride-hailing company Uber is offering 200,000 free trips of up to £15 per journey for NHS staff across the UK.

The company’s food delivery service, Uber Eats, is offering all NHS staff a £10 voucher they can use to buy a meal from restaurants and convenience stores in more than 150 towns and cities in the UK. The free rides and meals can be claimed by anyone with an NHS email address by signing up on Uber’s website.

Food delivery company Deliveroo is offering 500,000 meals for front-line NHS workers, delivered free to NHS sites in areas where it provides coverage.

NHS staff ‘working night and day to save lives are the real heroes’

Restaurant chain Pizza Hut has pledged 300,000 free meals, and a further 50,000 meals have been donated by other chains including German Doner Kebab, Itsu and Neat Burger.

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu said: ‘Those in the NHS working night and day to save lives are the real heroes of this crisis, and we want to do our small part to support them.’ The company will work with trusts across the UK to arrange deliveries.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said it is great that companies are playing their part and supporting NHS workers during the crisis.

Free travel and emergency accommodation for healthcare workers

In Wales, NHS staff will get free bus travel for the next three months; travel on trains is already free for NHS staff. The Welsh government will cover the cost to the bus companies, which will continue to provide a timetabled service.

Trusts are also taking extra steps to support staff. At Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, 40 ensuite container-style rooms are being provided as emergency accommodation for staff.

A trust spokesperson said: ‘In addition to the offers of accommodation in local hotels, we wanted somewhere that staff could literally walk to at any time of the day or night when they finish their shift.’

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