York hotel where coronavirus victims fell ill lays off staff

Staycity in York. Photograph: Richard McDougall
13 Mar 2020 @ 6.18 pm
| News

The York hotel where the first victims of coronavirus in the UK fell ill has made a number of staff redundant.

Staycity aparthotel on Paragon Street has laid off some staff and reduced the hours of others, YorkMix understands.

It is part of group-wide cuts across the Dublin-based group’s European estate in response to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The company says the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted occupancy levels across all its hotels and across the broader industry “and as a result the company has reluctantly had to lay off a number of staff at unit level and at the company’s Dublin-based call centre”.

‘Left with no choice’

Flashback to January: Two women wearing face masks leave the Staycity in Paragon Street, York. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Two guests at Staycity in York were taken ill on 29 January and were taken to hospital by paramedics wearing hazmat suits.

It was later confirmed they were the first coronavirus victims in Britain.

But it is not just the York hotel that has been hit by the outbreak.

Staycity chief executive Tom Walsh said:

  • It is with acute personal regret that these measures are necessary and that we are left with no choice but to temporarily lay off members of our valued team until bookings recover.

    We are confident that sharp and immediate business protection measures taken now will enable the company to bounce back when the coronavirus crisis passes and business returns to more normal levels.

He said they had established a task force to seek out alternative temporary employment for colleagues.