Govt to foot bill for hotels turned quarantine centres, says Ismail Sabri

A general view of the low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang April 3, 2020.  — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A general view of the low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang April 3, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — The government will cover the cost of hotel accommodation designated as quarantine centres of up to RM150 per day, for rooms and food, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

This includes accommodation of three-star hotels and above, of which the government will cover a maximum daily expense of RM150 per day.

“The government has identified and gazetted 45 hotels as quarantine centres. The government will cover expenses for rooms and food limited to RM150 per day.

“Other costs such as laundry and other services are paid for personally by the respective individuals under quarantine,” he said during the non-health press conference today.

Ismail Sabri further explained that those returning from abroad can only choose to stay at hotels that have been designated as quarantine centres.

He also stated that those who wished to stay in better accommodation from among these designated hotels can do so by paying out of their own pocket.

On April 5, the government came out with a list of 63 new quarantine stations. Among them are prominent five-star hotels such Palace of the Golden Horses in Seri Kembangan, Tanjung Rhu Resort in Langkawi, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Dorsett Grand Subang in Subang Jaya.

Ismail Sabri said that the inclusion of four- and five-star hotels was partly due to a request from foreign embassies for better accommodation.  

“There are also those who have returned from abroad who stated that they would like to choose their own hotel and are willing to bear the costs,” he said.

However, he stressed again that people can only choose hotels that are designated as quarantine centres as stringent quarantine protocols are in effect at these locations.

“Even though they are at a hotel, the SOP (standard operating procedure) is the same as every other quarantine centre. They cannot leave their rooms, they cannot receive guests such as friends and relatives, none of that is allowed,’’ he said.

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