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26 March 2020, 07:52
All NHS staff will now get free car parking at hospitals as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.
Car parking charges have been scrapped for all NHS staff for the duration of coronavirus, the government has confirmed.
Free car parking will be provided to all NHS workers, social care staff and volunteers at hospitals during the outbreak.
It comes after an online petition calling for free parking for NHS staff reached over 400,000 signatures in just four days.
A government statement, released on Wednesday evening, pledged: "In the face of this global pandemic it is essential NHS and social care staff are able to carry out their vital work without worrying about paying for car parking."
The government will be providing the funds to NHS Trusts around the UK to make the free car parking possible.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time."
"So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
"My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.
"We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19."
Many councils have already suspended parking charges for key workers and The National Car Parking Group confirmed earlier this week that it will also provided free parking for NHS staff at all of their 150 sites in England.