Gov't prepared to legislate that hoteliers provide 600 rooms for COVID-19 patients

Gov't prepared to legislate that hoteliers provide 600 rooms for COVID-19 patients

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Government is indicating that if cooperation is not forthcoming from hotel owners for the provision of 600 rooms to accommodate recovering COVID-19 patients, the state could trigger relevant legislation to take possession of properties.

Minister of HealthDr Christopher Tufton made the statement during a televised press conference at the ministry's New Kingston offices.

He said this is not the route that the Government wants to take, as it would prefer fair exchange for money instead.

“We are going to have to make some hard decisions as to the suitability of this space to the extent that this space exists within theprivate sector, we are going to have to get the willingness of those players to work with us in the interest of the public.”

Dr Tufton said some hoteliers have come forward since the Government made the announcement on Monday that it wasin searchof 600 hotel rooms, but that the offers so far have not been appropriate for a number of reasons, including cost.

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