Airport hotel becomes isolation facility

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Jet Park Hotel at the Hamilton Airport is to be an isolation facility until at least January 2021.

Its popular Propeller restaurant will also be out of bounds to the public for the next six months as the hotel does its bit “to keep Kiwis safe,” according to the hotel’s website.

“We are very sad we can’t open for the locals however we will be back soon,” Hotel Manager David Latu said in an email to Tamahere Forum.

He declined further comment.

The 62-room airport hotel, which had a near $4 million upgrade before relaunching last December, is the third isolation facility set up in the Waikato, housing returning New Zealanders sitting out a mandatory 14-day quarantine to detect Covid-19. Fences were put around it yesterday.

Two other facilities are in Hamilton. The Distinction Hotel in Te Rapa and the Ibis Hamilton Tainui in the city centre, are at capacity with 219 occupants, reported Stuff.

Hamilton Airport chief executive Mark Morgan told Stuff passengers and staff would see “absolutely no impact”.

Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport
Jet Park Hotel Hamilton Airport will be an isolation facility until at least January 2021

The airport hotel is owned by Waikato Regional Airport and Morgan said the arrangement would be in place until early 2021. It may be extended if necessary, he said.

“All Ministry of Health protocols for a self-isolation facility will be strictly adhered to.

“Government agencies will operate the site with the hotel’s management and staff providing day-to-day operational support and service delivery.”

Morgan said the Ministry of Defence will co-ordinate the security, health management and operational aspects of the airport hotel.

“The hotel is completely separate from any other airport buildings, and also quite a distance away.”

He said the revenue earned from the hotel’s use as an isolation centre would be a “significant improvement on what we had forecast” for occupancy.

The extra income would help boost the airport’s financial performance as the aeronautical business re-builds over the next 12 months, he said.

Up until June 30, the Government had spent $80 million on managed isolation facilities.

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