Returning Malaysians to pay own costs if want to quarantine at hotels of their choice

Hotel room. — file pic. // Photo:

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 7: Malaysians returning to the country who want to be quarantined at five- or six-star hotels of their choice will have to bear the cost themselves.

However, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob emphasised that they could only choose to stay in hotels which the government have identified and gazetted for ease of supervision and monitoring.

“If they want to pick their hotel and room type, they will have to pay for themselves but even so, they can only choose from the hotels we have identified,” he said in responding to queries as to why certain four- and five-stars hotels were gazetted as qurantine centres.

He revealed that the government has gazetted 45 hotels throughout the country as quarantine centres for which it will cover the expenses for rooms and food limited to RM150 per day while other expenses such as laundry will be borne by the individual.

“Initially, when we set up the quarantine centres, it was to accommodate all Malaysians including foreigners such as ambassadors and diplomats entering the country and are required to undergo compulsory quarantine.

“But some embassies have approached us to allow their diplomats to be quarantined at hotels and will bear the full cost of stays for their diplomats,” he told a daily press conference on the Movement Control Order (MCO) today.

Ismail Sabri also gave a reminder that those who stay in the hotel of their choice were also required to adhere to the quarantine standard operation procedure (SOP) issued.

“They are not allowed to leave the room or receive visitors or have family members come visit. They need to stay inside their room at all times,” he said.

As of April 6, there were currently 7,500 people in 122 quarantine centres nationwide, he disclosed.

“There is an increase from yesterday (April 6). A total of 233 Malaysians returned to the country are undergoing compulsory quarantined currently,” he added. — DayakDaily