London’s O2 Arena has been repurposed as a training facility for NHS workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, it has been announced.
The announcement was made last week that from Sunday 12th April until 29th June, the arena venue would be used as an educational training facility for frontline NHS staff at the newly built temporary Nightingale hospital. The hospital, which has capacity to treat 4,000 COVID-19 patients, has been built at London’s ExCeL centre. The O2 has provided its vast space to the NHS at no cost to be used as a training facility.
“We are honoured that The O2 arena, usually buzzing with thousands of music fans, has being transformed into a vital NHS training facility to help on-board the additional staff needed to save lives at this crucial time,” Steve Sayer, Vice President and General Manager of The O2 commented. “We would like extend our gratitude to the NHS, emergency services and key workers who are working so hard to keep us safe. While this will require further rescheduling of events booked to take place during this period, the priority for us all at this time is to help save lives and we know our customers will understand our desire to support the NHS in this way. The rest of The O2 will remain closed to the public until further notice. We encourage our customers to play their part during these difficult times by following government instructions to stay at home and practice social distancing."
The Greenwich arena is the latest venue to offer its space to medical staff and others in need in the midst of the pandemic. London’s Studio 338 revealing that it would become a food bank, storage, and distribution centre for vulnerable people, while Milan club Social Music City recently offered its space to be used by Italian emergency services until the end of April.
To support the NHS with the preparation for additional staff needed in the effort to tackle COVID-19, The O2 arena has been made available as an NHS educational training facility providing staff to support the Nightingale field hospital at ExCel London. https://t.co/IySYO0iZAm pic.twitter.com/ll1OXXbRPz
— The O2 (@TheO2) 9 April 2020