What are Hotels Doing to Ensure Cleanliness and Safety During and After the Coronavirus Pandemic? Since some TravelSort Clients are already reserving summer and fall travel, we've gotten a glimpse of what guests can expect, in the notes sent with client confirmations.
Industry and Company-Wide Health and Safety Initiatives
And while hotels vary, depending on what their local jurisdiction requires, there are also some company-wide and industry-wide standards that are emerging. For example, Four Seasons is collaborating with Johns Hopkins for its new Health & Safety program, Lead with Care. And the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has launched an industry initiative, “Stay Safe,” that seeks to ensure its member hotel companies adhere to cleanliness and safety best practices. Member hotels include Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Loews, Marriott, Disney Hotels & Resorts and others. Here are some of the staff and guest standards:
- All hotel staff must frequently wash hands with soap and water (preferred method) or use hand sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol content when hand washing is unavailable.
- Staff with any symptoms of COVID-19 must remain at home
- Staff who notice a guest or staff member exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms must immediately contact a manager
- Well-being and temperature checks for all employees shall be carried out in accordance with CDC guidelines
- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 shall be immediately reported to local health authorities
- All staff shall receive COVID-19 safety and facility sanitation training recommendations consistent with CDC guidelines for staff with frequent guest contact including Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Hotel Operations, Security, Valet/Bell Services, and Maintenance/Engineering
- CDC recommendations and federal and local government regulations shall inform appropriate PPE to be worn by staff. PPE shall be made available to any employee upon request.
- Guests shall be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other people not traveling with them.
- Housekeeping shall not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested or approved by the guest.
- In the event of a presumptive case of COVID-19 the affected guest room shall be removed from service and quarantined. The guest room shall not be returned to service until it's undergone an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting utilizing EPA approved products within CDC guidelines.
Example of Hotel Changes During and After Coronavirus
Arrival and Check-In
On arrival, luggage may remain in the car until after check-in. Staff in PPE will guide you to the registration area for touchless check-in, and you'll be presented with a sanitized card key. Public spaces are frequently sanitized, potentially with UV light technology. Door sensors open doors automatically, so guests can avoid touching door handles.
In the Room
Guest rooms will have been sanitized, potentially using UV light technology, killing bacteria and viruses. Your hotel may have installed HEPA and carbon filters, and air conditioning filters may have been upgraded to high MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings, reducing the risk of airborne contaminants. All surfaces will have been sanitized, and remote controls will be in plastic. Guests will be encouraged to use their personal mobile phone to reach staff, either through numbers provided or through the hotel's own app.
Most likely magazines and notepads will have been removed, as these are difficult to sanitize. Instead of a welcome amenity already being in the room, it will likely be delivered by room service.
You'll be in a newly sanitized room, and housekeeping staff will not enter your room until your departure, to clean it for the next guest. Housekeeping requests will be delivered and left outside your door, to minimize contact with staff. All laundry is washed at high temperatures, with CDC approved products.
Most guests will likely opt for room service, which can be ordered using your own mobile phone. Hotel dining outlets that are open may be by reservation only, to minimize lines. All seating will include social distancing, and you'll be served by dining staff in PPE. Bars may have protective glass around them. Menus are likely to be laminated, as they can be more easily sanitized that way.
Pool and Fitness Center
Pools and jacuzzi capacity restrictions and social distancing is likely to be more strictly enforced. Pool and beach loungers will be placed farther apart. Fitness Centers will have been reconfigured, with machines and treadmills placed farther apart, to respect social distancing. Staff may ensure a full wipe down of equipment after each guest's use. The usual fruit bowl is likely to be removed or replaced with individually plastic wrapped fruit pieces.
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