Senior minister: Hotels gazetted as quarantine centres can’t charge more than RM150 per room night

Yiswaree Palansamy
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 5, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Hotels which have been gazetted as quarantine stations for Malaysians returning from abroad cannot charge more than RM150 per room per night as agreed with Putrajaya, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

In his daily press conference, Ismail said that the RM150 covers room charges, food and drinks of the occupants who are to be quarantined.

“Hotels that are registered as quarantine centres and gazetted, we have already reached an agreement that their rates; rates for their room rentals, including food and drinks, is RM150 only.

“This has already been agreed upon, so there is no issue of them being charged extra,” Ismail said.

He made his remark following fears by some already quarantined that they may have to pay more after some hotels were reported saying there was no such agreement.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels has since clarified that all its members have discussed the matter with Putrajaya and agreed to the RM150 rate.

Ismail Sabri said that currently, there are 172 quarantine centres, including 12 hotels which are in operation, with 8,153 people under mandatory quarantine.

He said that 697 people returned to Malaysia yesterday, with 679 taken for quarantine and 18 sent to hospitals.

“Though we said that all are to undergo mandatory quarantine, those who have symptoms like having cough, flu and all others which we classify as symptomatic, will be sent straight to hospitals,” he said.

Ismail sought to explain why some returnees were placed in luxury hotels while others are not.

He said the government’s concern was purely to isolate the returnees, and not whether their accommodations were luxurious.

“We have already fixed the list of hotels which we registered and we will fill up the hotels one by one. Meaning today, say there are 1,000 people who will check-in. We will place them in hotels which we have listed.

“If it’s full, we will go to the next hotel. On the question as to how there are five-star hotels and such, and in terms of comfort, that is up to the hotels,” he said, adding that those who are to be quarantined, are checked-in on a “first come, first served” basis.