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All new arrivals to quarantine only at designated hotels from Dec 22

11 December 2020

By The SUN 

Dorsett Hotel in Wanchai is among the 36 designated quarantine hotels

The Hong Kong government has unveiled new restrictions for new arrivals from abroad, including requiring the travelers to spend their mandatory 14-day quarantine only at designated hotels.

The new rule which takes effect from Dec 22, will also require the designated hotels to provide three meals each day for those in quarantine, essentially eliminating the current practice of allowing the guests to get food from outside.

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Those arriving in the city will also be required to take a third Covid-19 test on the 19th day after their arrival, or after completing their mandatory quarantine.

From Dec 15, all new arrivals who test negative for the virus at the airport will only be allowed to move to their quarantine hotels using dedicated coaches, unlike now, when they are allowed to use public transportation or be picked up by private vehicles.

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They will also have to submit themselves to a nasal and throat swab tests at the airport, while collecting deep throat saliva samples by themselves in a separate test.

The measures were announced at a press briefing today, Dec 11, by Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, who said they are essential to curb imported cases and stem a worsening fourth wave of infections.

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Nip unveiled a list of 36 hotels that will cater exclusively to those who will be undergoing quarantine, whose prices range from $300 per day, inclusive of three meals, to those in the thousands of dollars.



He said that at least 100 hotels had applied to be included in the list, but with about 12,000 rooms already on offer by the first batch of 36 hotels, the room requirements of all arriving passengers would already be met.
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Nip said that to prevent cross-infections, the  hotels on the list could only take quarantine guests, while those not on the list would not be allowed to accept bookings for quarantine.

Staff at the quarantine hotels would also be tested every 14 days.

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The government’s list of quarantine hotels include some of those that cater to well-heeled patrons, including Shangri-La, Marriott’s Le Meridien, and the Mandarin Oriental at the Landmark, whose most lavish suite charges $51,150 per night.

But they also include a number preferred by budget travelers, like foreign domestic workers, including the Ramada, Dorsett and Best Western group of hotels. Another favorite, the Silka hotels in Tsuen Wan and Yau Ma Tei, were recently contracted by the government to serve as quarantine centers.


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All those arriving from Dec 21 (which could mean the traveler being released for quarantine only the next day after tests at the airport), are advised to choose from among the designated hotels.

The new measures should come as a relief to most FDWs who complain of not getting enough food while in quarantine, as most budget hotels chosen by employment agencies provide only a full meal for dinner.

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The problem became so pervasive that several groups and individuals in the Filipino community had taken to providing food and water for FDWs appealing for provisions.

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