Hotels listed as essential service in movement control order

The Malaysian Association of Hotels says its member hotels will operate with a minimum number of staff.

PETALING JAYA: Hotels and accommodations are considered part of the essential services allowed during the government’s 14-day movement control order (MCO) to stem the spread of Covid-19.

In the federal government gazette published today, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said “e-commerce” was also one of 21 essential services on the list.

It also says no one should journey from one location to another in an “infected local area” except for the 21 essential services listed in the gazette.

Another gazette published on March 16 said the country’s 13 states and three federal territories are considered “infected local areas”.

In an immediate response, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) said all member hotels would be operating with a skeletal staff including those from the security and engineering departments.

MAH president Kamaruddin Baharin said hoteliers would limit services to guests who had checked in before March 18, with food and beverage services reduced to room service only.

“Our advice (to hoteliers) is to look at the bigger picture and focus on containing the spread before the situation gets worse.

“We should all do our part to stop people from moving unnecessarily at times like this,” he said in a statement today.

The number of reported Covid-19 cases climbed to 533 as of yesterday, the most in Southeast Asia to date.