Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Taipei and New Taipei cities are in talks with a number of local hotels to become "quarantine hotels" serving those required to undergo quarantine, after the four current hotels became fully booked following the introduction of new border controls amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) of Taipei's Department of Information and Tourism said the capital city's three existing "quarantine hotels" are fully booked.
The city government is in talks with more hotel operators to encourage them to join the initiative, Liu added.
Meanwhile, New Taipei City government said the one quarantine hotel contracted by the city is also full and it is looking to sign contracts with more hotels to meet increased demand.
In the meantime, the city encourages those who need to undergo quarantine to do so at home, said a New Taipei city press release.
If individuals are concerned that staying at home could expose family members living under the same roof to the risk of infection, both Taipei and New Taipei government said they will offer subsidies and discounts to family members should they choose to stay at a hotel during the two-week period.
According to Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊), the city will offer a maximum NT$7,000 (US$227.9) subsidy for family members who choose to stay at a hotel.
New Taipei City said it will ask hotels in the city to offer families who stay there a 50-70 percent discount when a family member is under compulsory quarantine.
Taipei and New Taipei initiated their "quarantine hotel" project in February and early March to house individuals who are required to undergo quarantine but do not have a place to stay in Taiwan or do not want to stay in their own homes.
Operators who sign with the two local governments to become quarantine hotels have to first pass required screenings by the health authorities.
The two cities said the rising demand is due to the central government's announcement that starting Thursday, all incoming passengers, whether Taiwanese or foreign nationals, are required to be quarantined at home for 14 days regardless of which country or territory they arrive from, as part of the nation's preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.