Seven coronavirus hotels to close by end of the week

The IDF says closing a quarter of the 28 hotels across the country will save money and be more efficient * the National Coronavirus Headquarters being built in Ramle

IDF soldiers at the entrance of a coronavirus hotel (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
IDF soldiers at the entrance of a coronavirus hotel
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
IDF Home Front Command closed three coronavirus hotels last week and intends to close four more by the end of this week.
Hotels in Achziv and near Mount Hermon and Acco Beach were closed last week. Hotels in Tel Aviv (Bnei Dan) and Jerusalem (Caesar and Prima Park) and Kfar Tavor will close this week, the IDF said Monday.
Fewer hotels are needed for various reasons, including the end of the summer vacation for secular schools and yeshivot and the shortening of the isolation period for coronavirus patients from 14 days to 10 days.
Closing the hotels will save money and be more efficient, the IDF said. In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, Col. Nir Baron, commander of the IDF’s coronavirus facilities, said the hotels cost the state millions of shekel to run.
“The goal of reducing the number of hotels is economic efficiency,” read a document seen by the Post. “There is no need to open hotels with low occupancy. It’s better to move the sick and consolidate them in other hotels.”
Home Front Command said it could reopen a hotel within 48 hours if needed.
Closing the seven hotels would allow Home Front Command “to better focus on other challenges, such as preparing the hotels to operate during the holidays,” Baron was quoted as saying by Ynet news.
During the first wave of COVID-19, there were 12 facilities for patients confirmed to have the virus who were in satisfactory condition and another 12 for those returning from abroad or who had been suspected of being in contact with a coronavirus patient.
Home Front Command opened 28 facilities during the second wave, 24 for confirmed patients and four for quarantine.
“The hotels will remain an alternative for those for whom it is suitable and who do not have the proper conditions to isolate at home,” read the document.
Some 104,154 people in Israel have tested positive for the coronavirus. Some 21,682 of those are active cases, and 844 have died.
The Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department, in collaboration with Home Front Command, on Monday began work on construction of National Coronavirus Headquarters in Ramle. The project is expected to take several weeks.
The headquarters will include five complexes and hundreds of workstations for the IDF, offices and call centers.