• Kyodo

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A private lodging agency launched a website Friday aimed at matching people forced into isolation after possible exposure to COVID-19 with empty hotels in need of guests.

Through www.sumyca.com, Tokyo-based Matsuri Technologies hopes to help both people in need of accommodation and hotels and other lodgings that are struggling due to a sharp fall in the number of travelers.

Matsuri Technologies President Keita Yoshida said the company considered the fact that many people have not been administered coronavirus tests on grounds they have not met the required conditions, such as having a high fever for at least four days straight.

As the government has asked people who have returned from overseas to isolate themselves for two weeks, Yoshida said he also thinks some of those who have no home in Japan and cannot stay with family may use the service.

People who have tested positive for the virus are not permitted to source accommodation via the site, and some lodgings may not accept elderly people with pre-existing conditions, it said.

About 500 rooms have been prepared so far and the company hopes to increase the total to 5,000 by the end of May.

The rooms will be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly, and those staying will be asked to regularly report the status of their health as well as their body temperature. The hotels can provide food on request, according to the company.

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