The Tourism Bureau is renting hotel rooms for the short term to increase the supply of rooms available to people who need to undergo quarantine after returning from overseas for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The availability of quarantine hotel rooms has come under scrutiny as Taiwanese returning home for the biggest holiday of the year have had trouble booking a room at a quarantine hotel.
Demand is expected to be strained further when the Ministry of Health and Welfare enforces a “one person, one room” quarantine policy on Friday.
Photo courtesy of a quarantine hotel
The nation currently has about 16,000 hotel quarantine rooms, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Hsi-chung (張錫聰) told reporters yesterday.
To qualify to be a quarantine hotel, hoteliers should follow the guidelines stipulated by local health departments to secure their approval.
As the demand for quarantine hotel rooms is expected to rise ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Tourism Bureau convened an emergency meeting with hoteliers nationwide to discuss the issue, Chang said.
The bureau decided to lease hotel rooms from operators, he said, adding that it is capping room rates instead of providing an NT$800 subsidy.
The bureau is renting about 1,400 hotel rooms, which would be available for use from tomorrow until Feb. 11, Chang said.
The scheme is not applicable in Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu counties, he said.
The bureau’s scheme would help add about 4,600 quarantine hotel rooms by the end of this month, he added.
Prices of hotel rooms rented by the bureau are capped at NT$5,000 per day for hotels in Taipei and New Taipei City, the bureau said.
Rooms in other counties are capped at NT$3,000 per day, it said.
Hoteliers would still get paid even if the room is not used, it added.
Meanwhile, some large international hotels are offering discounts to families who decide to stay at the hotel so that a family member can quarantine at home.
That could provide an additional 6,950 hotel rooms, the bureau said.
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
CLASSES HALTED: Cram schools have had to return tuition fees due to mandatory closures and might need to lay off half of their staff because of a lack of revenue The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the education sector, with some cram schools and tutoring centers saying they might soon be unable to pay their instructors due to the extension of a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. The heightened alert level means schools must remain closed, so cram schools and tutoring centers have had to return tuition fees, one cram school said. June is normally the peak season for recruiting new students at cram schools and tutoring centers, but this year many such schools might need to lay off half of their staff due to a lack of
A person who was on Friday reported as the first in Taiwan to die after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine died of a heart attack, a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) official said yesterday. The deceased, whose sex and age were not disclosed, had coronary artery disease, which led to a fatal heart attack, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, told a news conference, citing the autopsy report. It was the first death listed as a possible adverse event after receiving the AstraZenenca COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the vaccination program on March 22. The
PARTY LINES: Just 28.1% of respondents said they were willing to get a local vaccine, including 52.8% of DPP voters and 48.6% of Taiwan Statebuilding Party voters Sixty-two percent of Taiwanese disapprove of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) progress in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines, while 65.6 percent said that they would not take domestic vaccines that lack WHO certification, a poll released yesterday by Trend Survey and Research and commissioned by the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) found. Trend Survey general manager Wu Shih-chang (吳世昌) announced the results of the survey with TPP officials at a virtual news conference, adding that 41.3 percent of respondents said that they highly disapproved of the center’s efforts to secure vaccines. About 68.6 percent of the respondents agreed that the country should rely on