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Taiwan increases quarantine rooms to 35,500 for Lunar New Year

176 epidemic prevention hotels bring 13,000 rooms online for returning Taiwanese

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(Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism photo)

(Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has increased the number of quarantine rooms available for returning overseas Taiwanese during the Lunar New Year to over 35,000.

During an inter-ministerial meeting on COVID prevention measures in the Cabinet Monday morning (Nov. 22), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that there are now 35,500 rooms across the country available for Taiwanese returning from Dec. 14 to Feb. 14, up from the 29,600 rooms previously announced.

That same day, the Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism announced that 142 epidemic prevention hotels in the city currently have 10,000 total rooms available for the Lunar New Year period. It anticipates that 34 more hotels will open up 3,000 more rooms, bringing the total number available in Taipei to 13,000, more than one-third of the rooms available in the country.

The department said that in order to maintain a steady number of accommodations in Taipei and stabilize prices during the Lunar New Year, it has continued to inform hotel operators that they are strictly forbidden to "maliciously drive up room rates" and asked them to cooperate with department policies barring "unreasonable price increases." If a hotel is found to have charged exorbitant rates for their rooms, they will forfeit the government subsidies for epidemic prevention hotels.

Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆), the department's commissioner, reminded members of the public who are opting for the "10 plus 7" or "7 plus 7" quarantine options to spend the second part of their quarantines in their home and not at an illegal short-term rental. Liu said that these rooms have not been properly disinfected in accordance with regulations or isolated from the general public, which means they could be "hotbeds for virus transmission."