The Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa will be temporarily closing its doors Saturday at noon in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made Friday afternoon in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, said Fairmount, the company that operates the hotel.
“Global, national and local authorities continue to issue guidance directed at slowing the spread of the virus – minimizing travel; cancelling social gatherings; shutting down non-essential businesses; working/schooling from home; and social distancing,” a news release from Fairmount read.
The possibility of reopening the hotel will be evaluated in early April, the hotelier added.
Not only will hotel services be suspended, but the hotel’s two restaurants and health clubs will also be closed.
“A very small group of employees will remain on property to maintain emergency services,” Fairmont said.
As for refunds on reservations, Deneen Perrin, director of public relations with Fairmount Chateau Laurier, said all customers who made reservations directly with the hotel will be refunded. Those who made reservations with third-party websites will have to communicate with them directly.
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The decision to close the hotel comes just hours after the province announced 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the national capital region. Two of those cases developed from close contact.
“We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and stay in close communication with our loyal guests and dedicated employees to ensure that our community is informed, connected and supported through these trying times,” Fairmount said.
When asked if the hotel had seen reduced reservations and cancellations due to the pandemic, Perrin said she believes many travellers are trying to adhere to guidance from public health officials to stay home and self-isolate.