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Some people are paying hotels to skip quarantine, Año says

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said some people are paying hotels so they can skip quarantine.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Año said that sometimes family members and relatives were the ones pressuring people under quarantine to breach the protocols so they can be with them.

“Napre-pressure din sila na gumawa ng paraan so nagbabayad sila minsan sa personnel ng hotel o kaya tumatakas through fire exit...Meron. Totoo ‘yan,” he said.

(They are pressured to find ways so sometimes they pay hotel personnel or escape through the fire exit…There are persons doing this. That is true.)

He added that the Bureau of Quarantine had actually filed cases against hotels violating quarantine protocols.

Año said that he also knew of incidents where a person even bragged about skipping quarantine amid the threat of COVID-19.

On December 23, 2021, a returning overseas Filipino from the United States skipped hotel quarantine to attend a party and visit restaurants in Poblacion, Makati. On December 27, she tested positive for COVID-19.

Her fellow party-goers and some patrons and staff of a restaurant later tested positive for the disease.

Año said all persons who committed violations in the incident will be held accountable.

Earlier, Año ordered the Philippine National Police to investigate the traveler, hotel owners, and BOQ personnel involved in the incident.

The Berjaya Makati Hotel, the hotel where the returning overseas Filipino was reported to have skipped her quarantine, on Saturday apologized for the incident, saying it was a "very serious breach" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Berjaya Makati Hotel management confirmed reports that a Filipino traveler from the United States did not undergo hotel quarantine and even attended a party in Makati.

The Berjaya Makati Hotel said it strives to be fully compliant with the government's COVID-19 rules and protocols.

It added it was fully cooperating with all government agencies investigating the incident.

The Department of Tourism had received more reports of alleged quarantine breach in hotels even before the incident in Makati City, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Puyat said authorities were not able to look into these reports because the names of concerned individuals were not disclosed.

Puyat encouraged those who will report about breach in quarantine protocols to give the names of the violator as well as the hotel so they can act on the matter. —KG, GMA News