A homeless woman has spoken out to defend Weymouth's Riviera Hotel for housing rough sleepers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week the Government told councils to accommodate homeless people in response to the pandemic, and the Riviera, based at Bowleaze Cove, is temporarily providing accommodation.

However, as reported, the decision has caused tension with neighbours, with some saying there has been a rise in anti-social behaviour.

Following the Echo's coverage, Gemma Bryant, who said she has been sleeping rough on the streets of Weymouth for around three months, came forward to defend the local homeless community and the hotel's reputation.

Ms Bryant thanked the staff, whom she says have been "absolutely amazing."

"I think the Riviera needs some praise, they're doing the best they can," she said.

"All the staff - the receptionists, the chef - they're looking after us while the country is on lockdown. They've got families at home and they're still coming into work despite everything that's going on (with coronavirus).

"The neighbours don't want us here but it's not fair for the hotel to get a bad name, because at the end of the day they're helping people during a crisis.

"The staff have been absolutely amazing, you couldn't ask for anything more - we're being provided with one hot meal every day; they give us clean towels and clean bedding, which they leave outside our rooms.

"They've stood up for us - these people are doing ten hour shifts - they need some appreciation."

Ms Bryant said she and others sleeping rough rely on public toilets and showers, but that those facilities have now been closed due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, charities that would normally provide meals and support are restricted in the support they can provide.

Ms Bryant added: "When the outbreak hit we felt totally lost and didn't know what to do for food, there was nothing at one point.

"I know homeless people have a bad reputation but I want to stand up for us and say we're not all that bad.

"With everything that's going on there could be more people who find themselves in the same situation."

The hotel did not want to comment.