N.B. hotels leave government isolation program, citing customer concerns
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Some of New Brunswick's designated isolation hotels are checking out of the program, citing concerns from regular customers.
The Value Inn in Woodstock, the Rodd Miramichi River in Miramichi, and the Quality Inn in Campbellton are no longer accepting guests bound by travel rules that came into effect last weekend.
"Some of our regular customers, we got calls from them and they wanted to move their clients out of here because they were nervous," said Rodney Harquail, manager of the Quality Inn in Campbellton. "The short-term revenue would've been really great, I mean we need it. But it's short term."
"Once a customer goes somewhere else you got to fight to get them back, right?"
The Rodd Miramichi River declined an interview on Thursday. The Value Inn in Woodstock did not respond to requests for comment.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said Thursday it's been "challenging" to secure designated hotels for all areas.
The Department of Justice and Public Safety is managing the program. No announcement has been made if new isolation hotels will be designated in the Woodstock, Miramichi, and Campbellton areas.
"The government has a responsibility to find additional rooms for as long as this rule is in place," said interim Liberal leader Roger Melanson.
"We've had some hotels who were initially on board, then through their own decision making and their own operational plans, they decided that they would not be a participant in this," said Bill Lawlor, the Canadian Red Cross provincial director for New Brunswick.
Isolation hotel locations in Moncton, Fredericton, Bathurst, and Saint John remain. The provincial government said a new isolation hotel would be looked for in the Edmundston area, which left lockdown this week.