After being hit with a second round of closures under the second movement control order (MCO 2.0), at least one major hotel chain has moved to diversify its offerings, targeting potential clients looking to self-quarantine in comfort.
The Eastin Hotel in Kuala Lumpur is promoting its isolation package, available for a duration of seven days or two weeks, with services including daily meals packed and delivered to the guest's room.
This came as the rising number of new cases slowed down contact tracing efforts and the government's move to allow asymptomatic positive patients to stay at home for self-isolation.
In the past, many hotels adapted to MCO Covid-19 prevention restrictions by converting their facilities to offer "work-from-hotel" packages for those who needed a change of environment from their home offices.
The easing of restrictions to allow for interstate travels saw a brief revival of the hotel industry but online portal Free Malaysia Today quoted Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive Yap Lip Seng as saying occupancy at most hotels had dipped below 20 percent after MCO 2.0 was announced.
"After sustaining losses for close to a year, the present situation is worse. Hotels will be forced to make quick decisions.
"The hotels might not be able to wait for the government to decide if the MCO would be extended or not. The lack of clarity is making it difficult for planning," he reportedly said.
FMT also quoted National Union of Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Workers Peninsular Malaysia secretary-general Rosli Affandi who said the union's 8,000-odd members are in dire straits.
According to the report, many of the union members have yet to receive their salaries on time and were forced to go on three to four months of unpaid leave.
"Hotel workers have now become poverty-stricken. They are working three different jobs, selling kuih (desserts) and doing many odd jobs for a living.
"When the PM announced the stimulus package recently, we were excited. But sadly, there is nothing for hotel workers," said Rosli.
"It is very saddening that not even a single YB has come to meet us to talk about our issues, despite our repeated calls," he added.