Over the weekend, it was announced that several in hotels including 5-star accommodations were gazetted as COVID-19 quarantine zones in Malaysia. The hotel arrangements have sparked debate online and Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has shared more details about the new quarantine zones at today’s press conference.
According to the minister, the government has identified and gazetted 45 hotels as quarantine centres ranging from three-star hotels and above. He added that the government will cover a maximum expenditure of RM150 per day. This will cover the room and meals. Any additional costs such as laundry and other services will be paid by the respective individuals under quarantine.
At a maximum of RM150 per day, the government could be spending as much as RM2,100 per person for a two week quarantine period.
As announced previously, all returning Malaysians and foreign visitors must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at designated quarantine zones effective 3rd April 2020. This would curb the spread of the virus to their families as returning Malaysians previously were allowed to self-isolate at home.
The Minister added that those returning can only choose to stay at hotels that have been designated as quarantine centres. For those that prefer better options among the designated list, they may choose to do so by paying out of their own pocket.
Some of the 5-star options include Palace of the Golden Horses in Seri Kembangan, Tanjung Rhu Resort in Langkawi, Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Dorsett Grand Subang in Subang Jaya. Ismail Sabri explained that the 4-star and 5-star hotels were gazetted due to requests from foreign embassies for better accommodation. He also said that there are those that prefer to choose their own hotels and are willing to bear the costs.
While spending two weeks at a 5-star hotel sounds like a luxury staycation, the returning Malaysians and visitors must adhere to the same stringent quarantine protocols as every other quarantine centre. This means they can’t leave their rooms and they are not allowed to receive guests such as friends and relatives. So nope, you won’t be able to enjoy the hotel facilities such as spa, gym, swimming pool or hang around the bar during the quarantine period. Their movement is actually more restricted than staying at their actual home.