Hundreds of people in Glasgow have been moved from their asylum accommodation into hotels during Covid-19.

Why are people being moved into hotels in Glasgow?

Hundreds of people in the asylum system, including people living in Mears Group flats in Glasgow and people who are newly entitled to accommodation from the provider, have been moved  into hotel rooms in Glasgow.

Additionally, many people who have been denied refugee protection but are on emergency S4(2) destitution support are now being moved from their accommodation into hotel rooms.

Our clients and communities are concerned as to why people have been moved, how long they are being moved for and what happens next. We also have concerns about how this move has been communicated with our clients.


What support is being given to people in hotel accommodation?

According to Mears, the following support is being provided:

  • 3 meals per day clearly detailed at each hotel, in line with social distancing
  • Any COVID case would have meals delivered to their room
  • All single occupancy rooms – no sharers
  • En-suite rooms
  • Toiletries provided by the hotel
  • Additional toiletries provided by Mears for personal care
  • Prayer mats being provided for Ramadan
  • WiFi provided at the hotels
  • All rooms have televisions
  • Laundry service at each hotel
  • Welfare manager in attendance at the hotel for any issues on a day to day basis


What about financial support?

Mears: “Based on the above, there is no financial provisions being made.”

This is a concern and we are seeking urgent answers on this from the Home Office.


Alison Watson, Deputy Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“These reports are extremely worrying. Shelter Scotland has worked with partners in the city for many months to highlight the growing humanitarian crisis facing people who have been told that they no longer qualify for any form of help or support from public bodies, and that their claims for asylum have been exhausted. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is imperative that everyone is provided with safe accommodation. We need an urgent statement from the Home Office and from Mears explaining why this has taken place when the Government guidance is that households shouldn’t be mixing. Taking hundreds of people from their homes and moving them into hotel accommodation where they can’t practice social distancing is unacceptable. ”


Gary Christie, Head of Policy at Scottish Refugee Council:

“People tell us they’ve been moved into hotels at very short notice and without a proper explanation of why they’re being moved, how long they’re being moved for or what will happen next. It’s confusing and frightening for people and raises serious concerns about how the Home Office communicates and shares vital information.

“People can’t stay in hotels forever. We need to know how the Home Office plans to accommodate people when lockdown restrictions ease so charities, local authorities and other partners can support any further moves.

“We’re also really concerned that people in hotels are not receiving cash support that’s needed for phone top ups and other essentials. We’re seeking urgent answers on this from the Home Office.”


Hotels have also been used to host people who are street homeless in Glasgow. Guests at Glasgow Night Shelter and other emergency homelessness services were put up in hotels immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic began. This is a separate operation from the above Mears/Home Office accommodation and provisions.


During the Covid-19 crisis we are running our services via phone and video link. Please call 0141 223 7979 to make an appointment.

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah