Coronavirus: Royal Voluntary Service announces closure of seating areas in hospital cafes

The Royal Voluntary Service has closed all of its seating areas in hospital cafes across the North East in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

By Ryan Smith
Friday, 20th March 2020, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 10:15 am

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is one of the largest voluntary organisations in the UK.

The charity, which relies on people giving up their spare time – has many cafes, shops and trolley services in hospitals across the UK.

As of Thursday, March 19, the organisation decided to close all its seating areas in their hospital cafes across the region until further notice.

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The RVS seating area at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Andrew Roberts, Head of Retail Operations in the North for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Following a period of risk assessment, the charity has made the decision to close the seating areas across all of our hospital cafe sites.

“It will continue with takeaway service in order to minimise contact.”

The RVS cafes, largely operated by volunteers, are a vital service for patients, their families and NHS staff.

As well as closing seating areas, RVS has also moved all cutlery and napkins behind the tills, banned the acceptance of customers’ reusable cups and added that contact points will be sanitised on a regular basis.