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.
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