Left Menu
Development News Edition

Quarantine a boon for some Hong Kong hotels as thousands return

Reuters | Hong Kong | Updated: 27-03-2020 12:45 IST | Created: 27-03-2020 11:36 IST
Quarantine a boon for some Hong Kong hotels as thousands return
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

As thousands of Hong Kong citizens and expatriates return to the city, many are seeking refuge in hotels, fearful that cramped apartments in one of the world's most expensive property markets could put families or flatmates at risk.

Social distancing is tough in Hong Kong, where the bulk of the city's 7.4 million population lives in flats that on average are no bigger than 500 square feet (46 square meters). The concerns have triggered a spike in occupancy rates for those Hong Kong hotels prepared to take self-quarantine guests, even as most of the industry grapples with a devastating slump due to coronavirus.

One expatriate who has lived in Hong Kong for over 12 years opted to self-quarantine in a hotel when returning last week, worried that going back to his two-bedroom apartment could put his wife and two daughters at risk. "In case I had it, I didn't want to get the girls sick," he said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity around the issue.

Even before the government implemented a compulsory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals on March 19, many returnees had voluntarily self-isolated in hotel rooms. The numbers returning have been swelled by an influx of students arriving from overseas where the virus is spreading rapidly, at a time when Hong Kong's infection rate remains relatively low, officials said. More than 77,000 Hong Kong citizens have returned since the mandatory quarantine was imposed, according to government figures.

A four-star hotel on Hong Kong Island, which had 15% of its rooms occupied at the start of the virus outbreak in January, said 60% of its rooms were now full. "Ninety percent of our guests are here for quarantine reasons," said a sales official at the hotel, who declined to be named because she was not authorized to speak to the media.

The rest of the hotel's rooms had been left unoccupied intentionally for social distancing purposes, she said, adding that in hotels which did not implement such measures the occupancy rate could be as high as 90%. Packages for a 14-day stay in a standard room at the Dorsett Hotel in its properties in the densely populated districts of Mong Kok and Wan Chai, costing cost HK$5,600 ($718) and HK$6,888, respectively, are fully booked until early April.

Dorsett Hotel told Reuters it had assigned a certain number of standard rooms for students' self-quarantine purposes. By doing so, it hopes to "further reduce the chance of an outbreak in the community," it added. The hotel said it had two air purifiers on each floor and a separate check-in area and elevators for quarantine guests.

Lawmaker Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism industry, told reporters last week that at least 14 hotels are together offering 1,000 rooms for the quarantine arrangement. However, some travelers have complained about social media of being stranded at Hong Kong's international airport because they could not find a hotel room.

"Does this mean I need to sleep in the airport for 14 days?" one post said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

All party meeting - Blocking dialogue not culture of Bengal, Mamata needs to speak up

If that happens, history will record it as the dark age of Bengal....

Diya Jalao for COVID 19: How Modi put Power Grids and power warriors at risk?

While Prime Minister Narendra Modis staunch supporters are busy in search of hidden science behind the sudden announcement of 9minutes9pm campaign but his ignorance of the actual science has put the nation in another danger. The scientists ...

'Diya jalao' for COVID 19: Modi needs to practice his teachings and control fake news on social media

In his video message to the nation on Friday the Prime Minister talks about peoples collective power to win the invincible. However, he has made no concreate efforts to win over the confidence and represent the collective power of the polit...

Videos

Latest News

Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for COVID-19 tests

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus. Johnson, 55, continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus, a Downing Street spokesperson said on Sunday.Hi...

Rolls-Royce to ditch targets and suspend dividend - FT

UK aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce will abandon its targets on profits, cash and deliveries, and suspend its dividend, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Financial Times reported late on Sunday.Rolls-Royce is also aiming to announce new cre...

Scots' medical chief resigns after flouting own coronavirus rules

Scotlands Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by visiting her second home this weekend and last. Calderwood said that during...

INSTANT VIEW-Market reaction to UK PM Johnson's hospital admission

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday in what Downing Street said was a precautionary step because he was showing persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus. T...

Give Feedback