With Covid-19 projected to be labelled as endemic next month, hospitels and alternate quarantine sites have resumed normal operations.
Hospitels are hotels that provided rooms for people who had mild Covid symptoms. They helped ease the strain on the kingdom’s hospitals during the peak period of the coronavirus pandemic. But now the service is consigned to history, according to the vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association, Thienprasit Chaiyapatranun.
Hotels that used to rely on Chinese tourists as a source of revenue were the hardest hit. Staff shortages is another problem as the industry tries to get back on its feet, since many experienced employees have left the hotel industry.
The conversion from hotel to hospitel helped hotels sustain some income as tourism was hit hard. But now restrictions are easing, and borders are opening, hotels can return to normal, just in time for the high season later this year in October. An extensive maintenance and cleaning procedure is already underway in preparation.
As many as 128 Thai businesses chose to partake in alternative quarantine services to welcome both visitors and regular guests, such as those attending meetings and seminars during the final few months of the AQ program. Last month, the Department of Health Service Support announced the closure of all AQ sites. But if the number of cases rises again, the quarantine service will be reinstated.
After the some Covid requirements were relaxed on May 1, the number of people arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport that needed to stay at AQ accommodation, dropped to around 30 per day, compared to 600-700 per day in the second half of 2021.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post