Home Economy Tourism dep’t suspends accreditation, permit of hotel in quarantine breach case

Tourism dep’t suspends accreditation, permit of hotel in quarantine breach case

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THE TOURISM department has temporarily suspended the accreditation and revoked the multiple-use permit of the hotel where a guest violated quarantine protocol, later tested positive for coronavirus and infected contacts during the breach. 

“Berjaya Hotel Makati was also fined equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room,” the Department of Tourism (DoT) said in a press release on Wednesday. 

DoT said a copy of the decision has been served and Berjaya Hotel is given 15 working days to appeal the ruling.

The case involves Gwyneth Chua, a Filipino who traveled to the United States and returned to the Philippines on Dec. 22. She was booked for a mandatory five-day quarantine at the hotel until Dec. 27, but left 15 minutes after checking in and had social activities in the succeeding couple of days.

She went back to the hotel in Makati City on the night of Dec. 25 and underwent RT-PCR test on Dec. 26. Her result came out positive the next day.

DoT said the statements made by the hotel management and its public apology were “an admission of not just the facts of the incident but as well as their lapses in their responsibility as an accredited establishment of the Department of Tourism,” the decision states.

“In their letter dated 29 Dec. 2021, Berjaya even gave the assurance that quarantined guests ‘follow strict protocols’. However, Hotel Berjaya later apologized in news reports and social media for their failure to report the ‘quarantine skipping incident’ to the Bureau of Quarantine,” DoT said.

The department noted that investigation showed that hotel security nor front lobby personnel did not call the guest’s attention when she was obviously leaving after check-in. The hotel management also failed to report the incident to authorities.

The police has filed charges against Ms. Chua and several others for violating Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act. 

Among those included in the case are Ms. Chua’s parents as the police probe showed they were involved in her departure from and return to the hotel. — Marifi S. Jara

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