hile getting a room in a quarantine hotel in Shanghai is easy enough for foreigners, finding other accommodation is no longer so simple.
On Sunday, Lily Kuo, Beijing bureau chief of the Guardian, took to Twitter to relate how she had been refused a room at the elegant Fraser Suites Shanghai hotel in Pudong.
“Was told by this hotel in Shanghai @FraserSuitesSGthat they are not accepting US citizens and 20 other nationalities, regardless of recent travel,” Kuo wrote.
“I asked the woman at front desk what she would think if US hotels had blanket banned Chinese people. She just laughed uncomfortably.”
Was told by this hotel in Shanghai @FraserSuitesSG that they are not accepting US citizens and 20 other nationalities, regardless of recent travel. I asked the woman at front desk what she would think if US hotels had blanket banned Chinese people. She just laughed uncomfortably.
— Lily Kuo (@lilkuo) March 22, 2020
Though no official hotel ban for foreigners has yet to be announced in Shanghai, in replying to Kuo’s tweet, Frasers Hospitality seemed to let the cat out of the bag, writing that they had been told by the Shanghai government not to accept new guests from certain countries.
“Hi @lilkuo, please accept our sincere apologies if our staff did not explain clearly, but Shanghai Authority recommends that we do not take in new guests from listed countries,” the brand responded.
Hi @lilkuo, please accept our sincere apologies if our staff did not explain clearly, but Shanghai Authority recommends that we do not take in new guests from listed countries. For any further assistance or clarifications, please contact us.
— Frasers Hospitality (@FraserSuitesSG) March 23, 2020
By “listed countries,” they presumably mean the 24 nations that the Shanghai government has deemed hard-hit by the coronavirus. Those who have traveled through one of these countries must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in the city.
The measure came into place as China has shifted its focus to catching imported cases of the Covid-19 virus before they can infect others and start a second wave of outbreaks.
However, as described by Frasers Hospitality, the hotel is evidently being told to look at nationality rather than travel history. The vast majority of imported coronavirus cases have come from overseas Chinese returning home to flee from outbreaks elsewhere.
China isn’t exactly a tourist hotspot at the moment.
It appears unlikely that this ban is confined only to Fraser Suites and Shanghai. Nathan VanderKlippe of the Globe and Mail tweets that when he called nine Beijing hotels last week, all of them said they were not accepting foreigners with some adding that it didn’t even matter how long the foreigner had been in China.
Called nine hotels in Beijing last week. None were accepting foreigners. Several said no foreigners, no matter how long they’ve been in China. https://t.co/K21asyYLKV
— Nathan VanderKlippe (@nvanderklippe) March 23, 2020