Forum: Stay-home notice: Provide lower-cost hotels, but with option to upgrade

Guests at the Village Hotel Sentosa on March 27, 2020.
Guests at the Village Hotel Sentosa on March 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The move to house all returnees from the United States and Britain in hotels to let them serve their stay-home notice is one way to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Isolation in the comfort of a hotel, March 29).

Right from the moment the returnees arrive at Changi Airport, they are individually screened and then transferred to designated hotels.

It is right that these returnees who have to follow the mandatory requirement are well taken care of.

The question is: Why are we putting them up in high-end and premium hotels? In addition, they are served three meals a day - at the expense of taxpayers' funds.

Even if the hotels had extended discounts for such an arrangement, the authorities could have devised a different approach, such as providing basic accommodation at lower-cost hotels and allowing those who want to stay in a better hotel to top up with their own cash to do so.

I believe hotels are willing to partner the Government to provide special discounts, given the low occupancy rates during this period.

The main objective of putting up returnees in hotels is to separate and isolate them.

Budget hotels are also equipped with proper beds, television sets and basic room amenities.

With such an approach, returnees would have their basic accommodation taken care of but have the option to upgrade at their own expense if they want to.

Roland Chong Kwong Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2020, with the headline 'Stay-home notice: Provide lower-cost hotels, but with option to upgrade'. Print Edition | Subscribe