Coronavirus hotels draw complaints about food and cleanliness

This morning, 6,534 people stayed in coronavirus hotels. Only 15% of floors left vacant in 17 recovery hotels and 5 isolation hotels.

Mordechai Sones ,

Mordechai Halperin in coronavirus hotel isolation
Mordechai Halperin in coronavirus hotel isolation
Flash 90

The Knesset Coronavirus Committee today discussed the level of service, food, and cleanliness in the coronavirus hotels, following complaints on the subject that reached the Committee.

Committee Chairwoman Yifat Shasha-Bitton (Kulanu faction in Likud) announced that following the proposal by Shas MK Moshe Abutbul, the Committee will make surprise visits to hotels to check the complaints.

In addition, the Committee called to inform the public that this is not a resort hotel but a recovery facility, and that in view of this all the needs of those recovering, apart from food, are imposed on the hotel.

Shasha-Bitton called on the Health Ministry to monitor hotel conditions, and to open a hotline or email address for inquiries and complaints from guests. On the other hand, she demanded that guests be careful about proper and respectful behavior.

United Torah Judaism MK Eliyahu Hassid, who initiated the discussion, emphasized that evacuation to a hotel is a measure to prevent closure, but conditions must be checked. Today the requirements for evacuating an entire family are that 50% of the family be verified carriers. In addition, a child over the age of 18 is not evacuated to an hotel with the family. He says this is a wrong decision that will lead to families refusing to vacate.

Hassid complained about the state of cleanliness and aesthetics in some of the hotels, and the refusal to allow patients to return from the hotel home for isolation, but praised the improvement in IDF Home Front Command activity. Shas MK Moshe Abutbul also described complaints about mice, rats, and snakes, and Iman Khatib (Joint Arab List) also spoke about apartments with mold and food at a substandard level.

According to Defense Minister staff member Doron Levin, "Every effort will be made to adjust the food and raise its standard. The hotels are not a resort but a recovery facility, but we are attentive to complaints. The food isn't served by waiters because they're healthy and there's no contact between them and the patients. Detergents are provided for the occupants so they can keep their rooms clean themselves. Employment contracts mandate that catering companies be constantly inspected. Currently, there are eleven hotels for the haredi population with four more in the process of opening and six hotels for the general population with two more in the process of opening." According to him, another facility will be opened for the Arabs of Wadi Ara at their request. He emphasized that leaving the hotel to return home is done only with Health Ministry approval, a procedure that lasts about eight days.

IDF Home Front Command headquarters chief Brigadier General Yitzhak Bar spoke about supervision of all hotels regarding cleanliness and food, and that the Command provided diapers and baby food for families who arrived without these products. He says today, 6,534 people are staying in the coronavirus hotels, with only 15% of places left vacant; 17 hotels are for recovery and five are for isolation. He emphasized that these are not hotels but recovery facilities, and spoke about vandalism by some hotel guests.

According to Talia Lankry of the National Security Headquarters, 23% of infection is in the haredi population, and 55% of infections occur at home. "The Home Front Command is not a food company, or a recovery company, but it is the only entity in the field that can operate such forces. It provides assistance but cannot bear responsibility - which should be borne by the Health Ministry."