PUTRAJAYA: Those who want to be quarantined at five-star hotels will have to bear the cost themselves, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said even then, they can only choose to stay at hotels gazetted by the government.
Responding to the issue which went viral on social media, Ismail Sabri explained why certain four and five-star hotels are gazetted as quarantine centres.
"When we enforced the compulsory quarantine, it was to be adhered by Malaysians returning from abroad as well as foreigners, such as ambassadors and diplomats entering the country.
"Embassies have approached us to allow their representatives to be quarantined at hotels and will bear the full cost of stay for their diplomats.
"That is why we have gazetted certain hotels as quarantine centres," he said on Tuesday (April 7).
For Malaysians who want to stay at five-star hotels during their quarantine period, they will have to fully bear the expenses, he added.
Effective April 3, Malaysians returning from abroad and foreigners who are permitted to enter the country will be placed under a 14-day quarantine.
To cater for the expected large number of returnees, the government had gazetted hundreds of premises and facilities including four and five-star hotels.
Ismail Sabri said the government limits the budget for accommodation and food to RM150 per day and other expenses such as laundry will be borne by the individual concerned.
There are currently 7,500 people in 122 quarantine centres nationwide.