Homeless people are at particular risk of contracting the coronavirus with the systems that care for them poorly equipped to handle a major outbreak.
Vigilant hygiene can prevent transmission, health experts say, but that is likely to be a challenge for people living without homes.
Fears have been raised that the US homeless population – nearly 600,000 people in 2019 – could be particularly vulnerable to the disease.
Modelling has shown that more than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with the coronavirus in California over the next eight weeks, badly straining the healthcare system, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Hundreds of homeless people in London are being housed in hotels to self-isolate to provide them with “vital protection” from the coronavirus, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced.
Three hundred rooms have been made available in two hotels for the next 12 weeks, the mayor’s office said in a statement.
Officials in the French town of Cannes said they would open the pavilion of their prestigious annual film festival, postponed due to the coronavirus, to homeless people, as the pandemic spreads in France.
French homeless organisations accused police of issuing fines to rough sleepers for failing to comply with self-isolation requirements under a strict social lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.