A NEW £15 million drive to get homeless Brits into accommodation to protect them against Covid is being launched.
Ministers want to clear the streets of rough sleepers to protect them against the killer bug.
It comes after nearly £100m was spent to help the homeless find a house during the first Covid wave.
The cash will be concentrated on Covid hotspots where Brits sleeping rough are most at risk.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The way we have protected rough sleepers from Covid-19 is widely considered to be the best in the world.
“At the start of the pandemic we launched Everyone In, which protected thousands of vulnerable people. That work hasn’t stopped and we’ve backed it with £700m.
“As the new national measures come into force, I am launching the Protect Programme to ensure councils are offering everyone sleeping rough on our streets today somewhere safe to go – protecting people from the virus and moving forward with our goal of eliminating rough sleeping.”
Homeless people are at a high risk of catching and dying from Covid because they are vulnerable and often have other health issues.
Ministers fear the toxic double whammy of coronavirus and a cold winter could lead to deaths on the streets.
Under the crackdown, all councils will have to refresh their plans for ending rough sleeping.
New, rapid assessments must be carried out on all homeless people, the government said.
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