Self-isolation: Hospitality industry ‘books into’ business opportunity
An enterprising South African accommodation chain has begun offering sanitised “isolation rooms” to people wanting to self-isolate themselves during the coronavirus outbreak.
The 11-hotel Capital Hotels and Apartments group says these are ideal for people seeking a safe zone from which they can live or work without worry. The concept can also be used by travellers who need to self-isolate for 14 days when entering the country.
These rooms are said to be available at 40% of normal daily hotel rates. If the idea takes off, it will be a boon to both Capital Hotels and other accommodation providers, which have seen occupancies drop as people stop travelling for business and leisure purposes.
Safe, inspected and hassle-free environment for self-isolation
The Capital Hotels website says it offers “a safe and inspected apartment hotel environment for you to stay in, where our entire supply chain, including food, has been secured for safe living. We welcome families and corporates who want to live hassle free during this period.”
Among the benefits are food prepared according to World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols, all hotel services still available but using sanitisation and social-distancing best practice, use of a gym restricted to a maximum of four people at a time, use of a pool operating to social-distancing policies, and daily room servicing by staff trained and protected to ensure a hygienic environment.
Speaking to Business Day, Capital Hotels and Apartments CEO Marc Wachsberger, who has gained a reputation as an entrepreneur and industry disruptor, said this was “a service for South Africans as we try to manage the coronavirus pandemic”.
“These properties are 100% sanitised, supplied, protected and health-inspected apartment hotel environments where guests can rest assured of their health and safety during the country’s expanded measures to contain the COVID-19 virus outbreak, ” he said.
UK hotel commandeered by government for self-isolation
In the United Kingdom (UK), a hotel near Heathrow Airport has been commandeered by the government as a self-isolation facility for people arriving from countries worst-hit by the coronavirus. The Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel is being made available for travellers coming to the UK from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea so they can self-isolate for two weeks.
Staying in the hotel is entirely voluntary, but travellers are being advised to board a flight back to their country of origin if they are not prepared to quarantine themselves for the required period, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Israeli Airbnb landlords seizing self-isolation business opportunity
In Israel, owners of Airbnb properties hard-hit by cancellations of their normal bookings are also turning to offering self-isolation packages.
The newspaper Haaretz says “landlords have found the silver lining in this debacle. Many of the tens of thousands of Israelis ordered to self-quarantine need a place to stay, an equipped one, far from their healthy families. At least some home-owners are seizing the moment”.
It quotes the head of an Airbnb Facebook group in Israel as saying that discounts are being offered because of the long stay required. Where possible, guests are being directed to apartments with separate entrances to make isolation easier.