Quezon City heightens monitoring of quarantine hotels due to new COVID-19 variant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — The Quezon City government is enforcing tighter monitoring of quarantine hotels for returning overseas Filipino workers amid the threat of the new COVID-19 variant.

In a statement on Sunday, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte mandated the stricter security measures in hotels serving as quarantine facilities for Filipino workers from countries with known cases of community transmission of the UK coronavirus variant.

Belmonte is also looking at tapping the Quezon City Police District for the deployment of police officers outside the hotels to make sure that the OFWs will complete the 14-day quarantine period.

"Now that the DOH confirmed the presence of the new strain in several places of the country, the more we need to double our efforts in preventing the spread of the virus," she was quoted as saying in the statement.

"If need be, we can tap our police officers to man these hotels so we can prevent returning Filipinos from leaving without finishing the government-mandated quarantine period," Belmonte added.

The city government said it would also heighten inspection in accommodation establishments to ensure they comply with health protocols.

Belmonte noted the City Tourism Department will conduct unannounced visits to more accommodation establishments.

The Quezon City government also reiterated that only four- and five-star hotels accredited by the Department of Tourism can accept "staycation" guests.

The mayor said Quezon City now has zero case of the new COVID-19 variant after its first index case tested negative for the virus.

“Our doctors in our HOPE facility declared that he is finally recovered. They gave him clearance to go home so he was allowed to leave the facility yesterday afternoon. He will continue to be monitored by our health officials,” said Belmonte.