Kochi, May 31 : Paid quarantine has come as a relief for the hospitality sector that has been reeling under the nation-wide Covid pandemic for the past three months.
As the demand for paid quarantine is rising, the tourism department is identifying more hotels for affluent non-resident Keralites returning home from Gulf countries.
The department, which facilitated paid quarantine centres in 175 hotels across the state a couple of weeks back, is trying to double the list of hotels. In the second week of May, it had handed over a list of 10 hotels in each district. In Thiruvananthapuram, the department found 35 hotels while in Kochi it could enlist 25 hotels.
"Almost all hotels, including five-star premises, have an occupancy of over 60 per cent", a top official of the department said. In Ernakulam, 25 hotels were selected for providing paid quarantine in Phase-1. Of this lot, 13 hotels are occupied housing 274 persons. Considering an increase in demand more hotels were selected, an official who oversees quarantine facilities said.
During the initial period, it was a difficult task. NRKs had to go to medical college on arrival for preliminary checks.Those who prefer paid quarantine would be shifted to hotels of their choice later, a general manager of a star hotel said in Kochi. Now norms have changed and passengers will be directly sent to the hotels after medical checkup at the airport if they opt for paid quarantine. At present, elderly professionals or superannuated government servants who went to visit their relatives abroad constitute the majority of those who opt for quarantine, the official said. (UNI)