Law allows hotels to prevent exit of guests under quarantine: DOJ

Establishments such as hotels may prohibit the exit of their guests who have yet to complete the prescribed quarantine period set by the government.

Speaking with President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his Talk to the People on Tuesday night, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra emphasized that under the existing law, quarantine establishments who fail to ensure that the required period is followed by quarantined individuals may be held liable.

Guevarra said Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act has pertinent provisions on non-compliant entities.

“There is a provision there on non-cooperation as part of prohibited acts, Mr. President. And it seems to me that non-cooperation on the part of certain entities, which are charged with a duty to respond to the pandemic, may also be punishable. So these entities, Mr. President, may include establishments, which are charged with a duty, for example, as a quarantine hotel, to ensure that people who are quarantined within the establishment should not be able to jump the quarantine regulations,” Guevarra said.

Guevarra’s remarks came after Duterte said because the delegated power of hotel owners is “lacking”, police officers should take over the task of making sure people finish their mandatory quarantine period.

“(B)ecause supposedly, there are personnel in the hotel who man the entrance and the exit of the hotels. And if the hotel has been designated, Mr. President, as a quarantine hotel, then presumably all the occupants of the hotel are under quarantine. So if they cannot present any justifiable reason to go out, like to see a doctor or for medical reasons, to go to a hospital, then perhaps the personnel of the hotel may also be able to stop them from leaving,” Guevarra said.

The issue arose following an incident in Makati City where Gwyneth Chua, a returning Filipino from the United States left her quarantine hotel ahead of the required quarantine period to meet with friends. Chua and some of her close contacts subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said it has suspended the accreditation of the Berjaya Makati Hotel and revoked its permit as a multiple-use hotel for its failure to stop Chua from breaking quarantine rules.

Berjaya Makati Hotel was also fined equivalent to twice the rack rate of its most expensive room.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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