No more free stays: Malaysians on hotel quarantine to foot 50% of bill from June 1

49 luxury hotels have been gazetted as quarantine centers. Photo: Twitter @theflychic
49 luxury hotels have been gazetted as quarantine centers. Photo: Twitter @theflychic

From June 1, returning Malaysians are required to foot 50% of their hotel bills for their two-week COVID-19 quarantine. Foreigners will continue to pay the full price of their stays. 

The government has been paying in full for citizens on hotel-quarantine while charging non-Malaysians. There was an initial ceiling cost of RM150 (US$35) per day for locals, but it was not enforced due to public backlash. 

According to Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday, both citizens and foreigners will be required to sign a release form saying they were willing to bear the cost of the hotel accommodation or risk being barred from entering the country. 

“This release letter will be a condition of their return and will include the agreement to pay for charges applied at quarantine centers (hotel accommodations),” he said.

All those returning to Malaysia from abroad are required to be isolated in various designated quarantine centers. 

There were 409 designated quarantine centers in Malaysia as of April 4, housing around 40,000 people. Forty-nine of those centers are luxury hotels, where at least 17,000 people were placed as of mid-April. At least 23 budget hotels were selected to provide quarantine accommodation.

The government allocates individuals to the various centers based on factors like the availability of rooms. 

Hotels who offer quarantine accommodation are exempted from sales and services tax. 

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