Date: 23/03/2020We understand that hospitality and leisure businesses may be called upon to support global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. A range of jurisdictions are considering repurposing sites to be used as hospitals for low-risk patients or to house healthcare staff.
Things are moving quickly and different jurisdictions are affected in different ways. For example:
UK: It is reported that hotel chains are in talks with the UK Government to be used to support the NHS – primarily reports say they would be used to house low-risk patients and NHS staff.
France: the French government has proposed the adoption of a health emergency law enabling the First Minister to take a Decree allowing the requisition of any goods and services needed to combat Covid-19. Owing to the general terms used we believe that hotels shall be affected by this Act.A priori a Governmental decree is required to implement this measure, which means that no lease or other agreement with the requisitioned hotels is needed. Indemnification of such requisitions is regulated by the French Defence Code.
Spain: the hotel gran colón in Madrid has been offered by the property for medical use as it close to one of the main hospitals in Madrid. Other hotels are offering their space too, and there does not seem that there is going to be any payment for use.
Germany: the use of Hotel capacities during the crisis is in discussion, healthcare is a local competence (not federal) so different approaches and developments are occurring. The discussion of using Hotel capacity goes along with the need for caretakers – and so discussion that hotel employees might be trained (especially for cleaning and assisting nurses) is also taking place.
Italy: In Milan the Regional Government is setting up new hospital facilities by using part of the old exposition centre, turning it into an hospital with 500 beds capable to provide intensive care units for people suffering of Coronavirus. There are also reports that some hotels may be turned into first aid centres.
We hope hotel and leisure businesses find our checklist useful in these uncertain times. DWF has a dedicated cross jurisdictional team focused on the Hospitality & Leisure sector. We are here to support you in navigating the legal requirements and considerations of temporarily repurposing premises in respect of the expanding requirements of the essential and emergency services.
We have prepared a draft suite of documentation that can be utilised quickly as there will be very little time for negotiation.
If you have any questions or require advice please contact Melanie Williams, Head of Hospitality sector.