The ever-evolving global pandemic situation continues to trigger the enforcement of new measures and restrictions by governments across the world, for the sake of the health and wellbeing of both visitors and nationals. As a consequence, many travellers are currently facing the requirement to self-isolate in a hotel upon arrival to a foreign country, although this does not make them exempt from other prerequisites such as showing proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure or submitting a duly completed Health Declaration Form. As soon as they find out that they are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine, many questions arise, some of the most common ones being if they have to pay for the stay, whether they can get out of the room or not, if meals are included or if housekeeping and room service are still provided. This post is intended to clarify these issues, although you are strongly advised to confirm your specific conditions with the local authorities and the hotel in question, as well as to stay alert to potential changes.
Who needs to self-isolate in a hotel after arriving in a foreign country?
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to be ill, test positive for covid or present symptoms to be quarantined, rather than that it has more to do with the country you are travelling from, and whether or not it is considered to be in the “red list” at your destination, even if you are a citizen who returns home. As a matter of fact, some governments won’t even allow you to isolate at home and will designate a hotel room near the airport premises for you to be quarantined until entering the territory again is safe for you and the rest. People who want to self-isolate upon arrival in order to protect relatives who live with them, international exchange students and cabin crew are typical profiles of individuals who undergo hotel quarantine, while essential travellers are often exempt alongside other very rare cases.
Do I need to pay for my stay during hotel quarantine?
The answer to this question is YES, even when your self-isolation in a hotel is managed by the local government. If you wish or need to make a hotel reservation yourself, you may look for specific establishments offering quarantine packages at a discounted price, which are generally all-inclusive ones including transport from the airport terminal, meals, personal protective equipment and health monitoring. In the event that you must book your stay with a hotel already recommended or designated by the local authorities, you will be equally offered a special quarantine price with everything included.
What are the conditions I must comply with during my self-isolation at the hotel?
-First and foremost, you must remain inside your room at all times, either alone or with the person or persons you are spending your hotel quarantine with. It is strictly forbidden to visit other guests in their rooms or let anyone into yours.
-You can neither bring your own food into the hotel nor order outside food delivery. In most cases, all meals will be served to your door every day, and you can also call room service around the clock for anything you may need.
-You must collaborate and agree to have your temperature checked, take tests and fill in digital forms to be submitted online or via apps throughout the length of your stay, to be properly monitored.
-You can’t access the onsite restaurants, gyms, wellness centres or swimming pools unless otherwise indicated, as might be the case for guests who test negative after the tenth day of quarantine in certain locations.
-You will be in charge of making your bed and keeping the toilet clean, since you won’t get housekeeping service.
-Should you present any symptoms, you must notify the hotel staff or relevant authority immediately, so that you can receive medical assistance and your room is thoroughly disinfected before other guests arrive.
What does a self-isolation hotel package include?
Your special all-inclusive nightly rate to self-isolate or spend quarantine in a hotel normally includes:
-Complimentary private transfer services from the airport.
-Your stay in an ample hotel room, frequently featuring balcony or terrace space and a working area.
-Boxed breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks served to your door every day.
-TV and High-speed wireless internet connection.
-A PPE kit containing face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and anti-bacterial wipes to minimize risks when contact with staff or external objects is unavoidable.
-Complimentary bottled water, tea and coffee maker and 24 hour room service.
–Fresh linen, towels and toiletries in sealed plastic bags as many times as you request them.
Notice that most hotels require you to select a minimum length of stay -which may range from 5 to 14 consecutive days- when you make your hotel reservation before they can apply the special quarantine rate. At all events, make sure you read the fine print and act in compliance with the travel regulations in effect to avoid fines and ensure your wellbeing as well as that of others. Safe travels!