Councils in north-west London are trying to secure beds for homeless people in their borough following a government request in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Harrow and Brent Councils confirmed that they were working to protect those sleeping rough as the country continues to deal with the ongoing pandemic.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government wrote to local authorities across the country asking them to provide extra support over the coming days.

It read: “We are all redoubling our efforts to do what we possibly can at this stage to ensure that everybody is inside and safe by this weekend, and we stand with you in this.

“These are unusual times so I’m asking for an unusual effort. Many areas of the country have already been able to ’safe harbour’ their people which is incredible. What we need to do now though is work out how we can get ‘everyone in’.”

Cllr Adam Swersky, who is responsible for the emergency response to Covid-19 at Harrow Council, said teams were working “as hard as possible” to find accommodation for rough sleepers.

He explained that vulnerable residents remain a “top priority” for the council in this “exceptionally difficult time”.

And Cllr Eleanor Southwood, who is responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said anyone in need of support should get in touch.

“People experiencing homelessness are at a heightened risk from coronavirus,” she said.

“We’re working hard with our partners, other councils and the GLA, to ensure anyone who is currently homeless, or is at risk from being made homeless, has a safe place to go.”

She said the council has already secured 40 extra beds in Wembley and said its St Mungo’s outreach team was working to support those in need.

Across the country, many rough sleepers have already been accommodated thanks to a £3.2 million government emergency fund, but up to 45,000 “self-contained accommodation spaces” are needed to house the UK’s homeless population.