PARIS (Reuters) - French hotel group Accor <ACCP.PA> said that some of its hotels in the Paris region will open on Thursday to people infected with the coronavirus who are symptom-free or showing slight symptoms.
Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin also told France Inter radio that 300 of Accor's hotels in France had indicated they were prepared to participate in the initiative, which comes as President Emmanuel Macron has indicated the country's lockdown could be progressively lifted from May 11.
"Last evening, the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris (AP-HP)) decided with local authorities to launch three pilots from today in Ile-de-France (Paris region)... We were asked if we could make some hotels available from this evening for people infected by the virus and symptom-free or with slight symptoms but who are contagious. We are going to welcome them from this evening," Bazin said.
Health measures in the hotels will be beefed up so that they can safely re-open later for business.
"The measures will be strengthened before, during and above all after, because these hotels are expected to re-open and thus welcome clients and tourists and I do not want them to be scared to go in a hotel which helped those in need," he added.
Bazin did not detail the financing of the initiative.
Earlier this month, Accor said the coronavirus crisis would see it shut two thirds of its hotels in the coming weeks. The group has 4,900 hotels worldwide, ranging from the luxury Sofitel chain to the budget Ibis.
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard, Blandine Henault Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Nick Macfie)