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COVID-19: Block exemption for the Hotel Industry

30 March 2020
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Regulations have been passed exempting certain agreements and practices in the hotel industry from section 4 and 5 of the Competition Act (restrictive horizontal and vertical practices).

  • Identification and provision of facilities: (a) identifying and providing appropriate facilities for the accommodation of people placed under quarantine; and (b) communicating with each other in relation to capacities and utilisation of facilities for the accommodation of people placed under quarantine.
  • Cost reduction measures: communicating and agreeing on the reduction of the cost of providing appropriate facilities for the accommodation of people placed under quarantine.

The exemption is only applicable if undertaken in coordination with the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism, in responding to the COVID-19 epidemic and excludes communication in respect of prices unless specifically authorised.

Any discussion on pricing among parties in the hotel industry for the purpose of providing appropriate quarantine facilities must be specifically authorised by the Minster of Health and the Minister of Tourism. Those participating in any agreements or practices falling within the scope of these exemptions must keep minutes of meetings held and written records of such agreements.