More and more entities are showing solidarity with those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. To ease the tension of medical personnel, FC Porto and Chelsea open their stadiums to doctors and nurses.
Football games and concerts are off, so are smaller corporate events. Across Europe even small gatherings are banned, leaving stadia vacant for weeks, possibly months. In some cases this resulted in stadium perimeter being converted into makeshift testing labs, like in Dublin, Philadelphia or soon Jerusalem.
Portuguese FC Porto chose a slightly different route and engaged with Hospital de São João (St. John Hospital), just under 3 km north from Estadio do Dragão. The football club offered that its 50,000-seater stadium could become a field hospital if need be.
And if not needed to such extent, hospitality facilities are now open to doctors and nurses as rest areas (for example between shifts). Also, starting Monday FC Porto will supply meals to the hospital's staff.
Chelsea FC have made a similar move, offering their Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge to NHS (National Health Service) workers fighting COVID-19 in London. All expenses associated with the hotel's use are to be covered by Roman Abramovich.
“Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes. Local accommodation helps maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time.
“This will be for a two-month period, and then reconsidered in light of circumstances at the time. NHS staff will be those working in hospitals in the North-West London region, but that may extend to hospitals in other districts.” the club's statement on the matter reads.