December 28, 2022
BEIJING – With Zhejiang province bracing for a possible surge in COVID-19 infections in the coming months, hotels there have started to offer self-isolation rooms for people infected with the virus.
In Yongkang, a county-level city, a hotel has recently converted into an exclusive COVID-19 facility, where patients can recover from the virus.
Starting Dec 18, Ziwei Luxy Hotel began to provide rooms for COVID-positive residents who would like to enter self-imposed quarantine but either lack the proper isolation conditions at home or choose to shun home quarantine to avoid passing the virus onto their family.
“Only about a dozen guests came on the first day,” Song Chunhong, manager of the hotel, told China Daily. “Then over 40 checked in the next day, and now all 80 rooms in the hotel are occupied.”
Each room costs 300 yuan ($43) per night without meals, or 400 yuan with meals.
“The guests include people of all ages, from students to the elderly,” she added. “We also receive a lot of calls from prospective guests who said they would come if they test positive.”
In March, the hotel was designated as a place to accommodate people infected with COVID-19 for centralized quarantine, but that ended on Dec 9. Well-equipped and experienced in treating patients, the hotel decided to make the change.
Turning the Ziwei Luxy Hotel into a self-isolation hotel not only helps business, but also enables it to make full use of the experience it has accumulated over the past few months, Song explained.
“Besides, the move is also a timely response to needs,” she said. “It is a winning proposition in every sense.”
Disinfected at regular intervals every day, the hotel has stocked up on N95 masks, disposable gloves, traditional Chinese medicines and fever medications, all of which are freely available. If guests have particular needs, they can contact room service and have items delivered to their door by robots. Garbage is packed and left outside the rooms.
On Wednesday, a few hotels in Anji county, Huzhou city announced that they have set aside “self-isolation rooms” as well, offering set packages of three, five and seven nights.
“We have allocated some 80 rooms out of a total of 114 for the purpose,” a staff member at one of the hotels, Yuantong International Hotel, told China Daily over the phone. “They are currently fully occupied.”
The staff member, who only identified herself as Ms. Yan, said that rooms cost 880 yuan for three nights, 1,180 yuan for five nights and 1,580 yuan for seven nights — all including breakfast.
In cities like Jiaxing and Hangzhou, the provincial capital, many hotels are reported to have begun providing similar services.
Apart from hotels, COVID-positive residents in Hangzhou can also choose to stay in a centralized location with hotel-like services for quarantine.
Some 75 isolation venues known as “Health Homes” with a total of 16,030 rooms for centralized quarantine have been set up, Qian Chaoli, an official with the Hangzhou city bureau of culture, radio, TV and tourism, told a news conference on Wednesday.
People who apply to isolate will pay for accommodation themselves, and the cost cannot be higher than the market price, according to Qian. The price of daily meals cannot exceed 100 yuan per person.
Figures from the bureau show that over 1,600 people have submitted applications to quarantine at Health Homes, with the number expected to increase in the next few days.
Outside Zhejiang, hotels in places including Guangxi, Shanghai, Shanxi and Yunnan are known to be offering isolation packages for COVID-19 patients, too.