SNCF and Airbnb offer free services to French medics

24 Mar 2020 by Hannah Brandler
A TGV Duplex high-speed train in Ouigo livery. Credit: olrat/iStock

France’s national rail company SNCF is offering free services to medics coming to the aid of Paris hospitals amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The offer applies to TGV services InOui and OUIGO, and Intercité trains. Doctors, nurses and paramedics will be able to use these services free-of-charge by showing a work ID or certificate of employment to the SNCF station staff. 

The capital’s 39 hospitals have called on medics and paramedics to join their teams in the coming weeks to help fight the pandemic. SNCF seeks to make the travel to/from the provinces easier.

Alain Krakovitch, managing director of SNCF Voyages, tweeted the news:

“This is a show of national solidarity by the rail world, working around the clock to face the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

SNCF also announced last week that it will be donating all of its catering products to charity Samusocial de Paris, which will then provide it to the homeless.

Meanwhile, Airbnb has partnered with the French government to offer free stays for doctors, healthcare workers and social workers. A similar initiative was launched in Italy last week.

Airbnb will connect hosts willing to offer their place for free to medical staff via the platform’s Open Homes programme – designed to provide free, temporary housing to people going through a difficult time.

Airbnb will waive all fees for the stays and will give €50 to hosts to help with cleaning costs.

Emmanuel Marill, France’s Airbnb director, said:

“Unprecedented times call for an unprecedented response and as the world unites to fight the coronavirus outbreak, we have made it our priority as a community to provide what support we can.

“By standing with our host community to offer free accommodation for caregivers and social workers we hope we can help heroic professionals on the frontlines as they work to protect us all and save lives. Our thoughts go to everyone affected by this outbreak and our sincere thanks go to medical staff across the country. We will continue to gather learnings on this initiative to see if they can be applied to other communities across the world.”

Julien Denormandie, France’s housing minister, adds:

“I would like to thank Airbnb for answering my call. I know many French citizens want to help with this crisis. Through this solution, and thanks to their generosity, housing will be provided for healthcare workers and people working in centers helping homeless people, to get closer to their place of work.”

France has also opened up hotel rooms to the homeless during the pandemic.

France is currently in lockdown and yesterday reported a nationwide death toll of 860.;

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