24th June 2022 – (Hong Kong) The fifth wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong continues to spread. Recently, it has been found that are incidents of scalping in designated quarantine hotel (DQH) rooms. The Hong Kong government announced today (24th) that measures to prevent scalping in designated quarantine hotel rooms will be implemented with immediate effect. Hotels in the eighth round of the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme, including Bay Bridge Lifestyle Retreat in Tsuen Wan, Mira Moon Hotel in Wan Chai and Prince Hotel in TST will be added to the scheme after evaluation and bookings will be open to the public tomorrow (25th). A total of about 900 additional rooms will be available. The eighth cycle of DQH Scheme will run from 1st August to 31st October. The Government is conducting assessments on other hotels’ applications. Further announcements will be made when relevant work is completed.
Together with the three new hotels, there are 65 hotels designated for quarantine in the eighth round, providing about 24,000 rooms.
The Government has all along been monitoring closely the operation of the DQH Scheme and noticed the scalping of guest rooms in DQHs in recent days. Having discussed with the hotel industry, the following measures are implemented with immediate effect to prevent the scalping of hotel rooms-
- DQHs should require their partner travel agents not to block book the guest rooms without booking details of guests. Travel agents must provide relevant information of the guests to the hotels with full payment settled at the time they reserve the rooms;
- Hotels should ensure that all room bookings must be made under a real name and full payment must be settled in advance. At the same time, DQHs should develop a set of fair and transparent refund policy; and
- Hotels should ask the travel agents to itemise the fees charged on the receipt, and ensure that the hotel room rate is the same as the published rate listed on the Government website.
A Government spokesman said, “The Government implements the DQH Scheme with a view to preventing the importation of COVID-19 cases. The Scheme is an effective measure in Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic strategies to contain virus spread. We have reiterated to all DQHs that the Government will not tolerate any kind of scalping activities.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will take appropriate follow-up action if non-compliance cases are found.”