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Ho Chi Minh City considers allowing one- to two-star hotels to offer quarantine service

Ho Chi Minh City considers allowing one- to two-star hotels to offer quarantine service

Sunday, October 04, 2020, 11:58 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City considers allowing one- to two-star hotels to offer quarantine service
Arrivals from South Korea land at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, September 30, 2020. Photo: T.Diep / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City currently has 23 three- to five-star hotels that run paid quarantine services, and authorities are looking for one- to two-star establishments that are capable of offering such services to provide more affordable options for arrivals.

Among the 23 three- to five-star hotels, eight establishments with more than 1,000 rooms have been receiving guests who stay there for their quarantine over the past month.

Allowing these hotels to serve quarantined guests helps relieve some pressure on the health sector in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, at the same time creating opportunities for the hospitality industry to increase room occupancy.

All international arrivals to Vietnam have been required to pay for their mandatory quarantine from September 1, according to Phan Thanh Tam, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.

Prior to their trip to the Southeast Asian country, they must have to submit specific plans for their quarantine, including where to stay and how to get there, while their quarantine rooms need to be booked in advance, Tam elaborated.

It is also promulgated that one quarantine room can only have up to two guests, thus demand for quarantine hotels will surge when more international routes are reopened, the official said, adding that people need to know the cost of their isolation beforehand to balance their financial capacity.

Due to the lack of tourists, many hotels in Ho Chi Minh City have signed up to become quarantine venues.

A hotel can only turn into a paid quarantine facility after the municipal Department of Tourism and the Department of Health have appraised its quality and the People's Committee approved it.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the city’s health department, said that the agency is reviewing 15 additional hotels with a total of 982 rooms.

“Adding quarantine hotels means fiercer competition, which will push them to offer better price and quality,” Hoa said.

“We are also looking for suitable one- to two-star hotels that can offer paid quarantine services in order to provide more affordable options.”

A manager of De Nhat Hotel in Tan Binh District, which is offering quarantine services at VND1.8 million (US$77) per room, said that the facility has welcomed its guests since August 15.

The number of bookings has been increasing, he added.

The hotel only reached 30-50 percent of room occupancy before international routes were resumed, he continued, adding that the occupancy has improved considerably.

A director of a five-star hotel said that his venue is offering quarantine packages at VND25-40 million ($1,078-1,725) each, which includes room rates and daily meals.

Some other three-star hotels also provide such packages at nearly VND20 million ($862).

To avoid problems, airlines in Vietnam should charge quarantine and COVID-19 screening costs when selling tickets for their international flights, said Doan Quoc Binh, deputy director of the Southern Airports Authority.

A representative of national carrier Vietnam Airlines stated that passengers must book rooms at their quarantine facilities in advance to be able to purchase tickets.

Passengers of the airline are given a list of quarantine hotels so they can consider before buying their flight tickets.

Vietnam has resumed commercial flights to certain destinations, including Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and mainland China.

Entrants from these places are now required to present certificates proving they tested negative for the novel coronavirus within three days of their boarding flights.

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