The French government is reportedly turning empty hotels in Paris into temporary housing for the homeless amid the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Agence France-Presse, most hotels are deserted with the city on lockdown but the French Housing Minister plans to change that.

Julien Denormandie told Le Parisien that the city will be booking rooms so that homeless people can get off the streets and have a safe place in which to self-isolate during the Covid-19 outbreak.

France has been on lockdown since 17 March, with residents told to stay in their homes for 15 days unless buying food, going to the pharmacy, going to work for those providing essential services, and brief exercise.

All non-essential commercial activity is also suspended.