Marriott: “Good Morning, A Previous Visitor Of This Hotel Has Been Diagnosed With Covid-19!” – What To Do?

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This week I received an interesting “Good Morning” letter at a Marriott Hotel in Bangkok where an individual who had visited the hotel premises the same week has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Guests were left with a formal notice and no further instructions or follow up since.

The letter which I put up here (personal and hotel details omitted) was placed under the door on Saturday morning and I almost overlooked it on the way to breakfast.

It reads:

We would like to bring to your notice that a person who frequented the hotel on 7th April 2021 has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Upon notification we have worked closely with the local authorities to address the situation and take appropriate measures.

As additional preventive measures we have advised selected hotel associates to undergo testing and self quarantine for 14 days as a safety precaution. …

Should you wish to discuss the situation with hotel personell please contact At Your Service. …

It’s a rather strange wording but to decipher it I think it’s important to look at the way they phrased this letter.

A person who frequented the hotel on 7th April 2021 … this leads me to believe the following things:

  • It wasn’t necessarily someone who actually used hotel facilities
  • It wasn’t a hotel guest because in that case they wouldn’t have just mentioned one particular day but at least a time span of two days due to overnight
  • It could be an attendee of a restaurant, meeting room, hotel shop or even a delivery driver

Certain employees were told to get tested and even quarantine for two weeks. First of all I hope they get paid in full for these two weeks but it’s rather curious that hotel employees should undergo such measures, yet no other guests at least according to this letter.

What to do about this?

I did ask the front desk about this situation, merely out of interest about how this will be handled not because I’m concerned in any way.

The manager said they don’t know any details about the individual which I don’t fully buy. They should at least know who the person was and what he or she was doing at the hotel otherwise how could they identify employees for testing and quarantining?

In short: At this point there is really nothing a guest can do about this.

Thailand is currently experiencing a spike of Covid-19 cases that were first linked to “entertainment venues” – I’m using this term very loosely – in the ThongLor / Ekkamai district of Bangkok. One of the infected includes the Japanese Ambassador to Thailand but also several politicians including cabinet ministers who were linked to dodgy establishments. You see where this is going, I’d like to be a fly in their home when all this is over.

This doesn’t just impact Bangkok, there was also a popular music festival in Phuket that was given the go ahead from authorities and as it turned out (surprise, surprise) became a superspreader event.

We also have the popular Songkran (Thai New Year) holidays right now and the Thai Government has not limited travel across the provinces, although some provinces have by themselves declared health measures such as a negative C-19 test and/or quarantine that are weakly enforced and only in place since yesterday.

I’m mentioning this connection because hotels might find themselves confronted with this situation more often in the next few weeks/months as the Thai Government has really botched this handling (allowing festivals and pushing holiday travel) after being very lucky for more than a year.

Conclusion

This particular Marriott hotel has not followed up with any additional information about the case. I wonder why they’d send such a letter to guests, some of which would no doubt be concerned if there is zero follow up?

Now, I do believe that they would tell people if there was immediate contact but I also think that the property doesn’t want to be on the hook for the cost of testing the entire hotel (~ 4000 Baht per person at a private hospital) and be mentioned with a negative connotation in the media.

Thai people with a respective national ID can register on a website for a free Covid test if they fear they had contact, foreigners will be charged between 3000-4500 Baht for a test even if they are urged by the government to go and get tested. The government has currently published a list of entertainment venues (some of which with rather illustrive names) that are closed and whose previous customers should get tested. I haven’t seen any hotel on this list. The rooftop bar of this particular Marriott has now been closed though.

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