Covid-19 Safety Precautions/Recomendations for Hotels.
Several major hotels have announced the rollout and implementation of new and enhanced cleaning standards and measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that their properties are sanitary and safe for guests. The safety measures below reflect a number of best practices that hotels should put into place.
The safety measures below reflect a number of best practices that hotels should put into
place, in accordance with the EPA and CDC.
As hotels get ready to re-open, keeping employees and guests safe is a priority. Following are several specific best practices and protocols for hotels to implement:
- Consider implementation of remote check-in or self-check-in from kiosks and using direct-to-room technology, if possible.
- Post signage to remind guests and workers to wash hands with soap and warm water frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Assess cleaning regimens to include deep cleaning and use of EPA-approved cleaning products from this list of disinfectants.
- Increase frequency of cleaning public areas; make available an ample amount of hand sanitizers in guest contact areas, such as hotel lobbies and conference spaces.
- Sanitize regularly with a focus on high-contact points: doors, handles, counter tops, vending machines, etc.
- Rearrange furniture in public areas to promote social distancing. Put markings on the floor to remind guests to remain six feet apart, and limit the number of guests in the lobby, elevators and other common areas.
- Keep drinking fountains closed; instead consider offering bottled water.
- Close public restrooms if possible. If they remain open, sanitize and scrub them frequently.
- Consider keeping the gym closed. If not, sanitize equipment after each use and add hand hygiene stations in the gym.
- Consider postponing offering valet service.
- Prior to re-opening, run water from all taps/showerheads or sources for at least 10 minutes. Legionella or other bacteria can build up in water (even in pipes) that sits stagnant. It’s necessary to flush these out thoroughly. Consider flushing/ hyperchlorination of water system and verify water chemistry is within acceptable parameters.
- Consider keeping swimming pools/hot tubs closed. If not, before re-opening, drain, disinfect and refill water features in the pools and hot tubs. These may not be an especially likely source of COVID-19 infection but sitting unused, especially if the chemicals were not being maintained on the normal schedule, other bacteria such as Legionella can proliferate. Be sure pool operators maintain proper cleaning practices and disinfectant levels to prevent bacteria from growing and causing illnesses in swimmers.
- Shift from buffet-style service to bagged meals, and discontinue room service.
- Utilize disposable utensils and dishes wherever possible.
- Remove minibars, excess hangers, excess linens and pillows in guest rooms.
- Launder all fabrics in hot water and disinfectant; hotel blankets should all be laundered.
- Keep staff safe by providing personal protective equipment – masks, gloves and sanitizer. Housekeeping should always wear gloves when cleaning.
- Conduct regular training of employees to ensure proper hand hygiene and awareness of COVID-19. Be sure employees follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Ensure staff is empowered to flag all areas of concern and have a common space to log the information.
- Consult with local and county health departments to determine appropriate actions if a guest or worker presents symptoms of COVID-19 disease, as well as how to respond if asked to quarantine guests.
Proper planning is required to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. The hotel industry is prepared to take the necessary measures to make guests feel comfortable and safe as traveling and hotel stays resume.
Sources: AWAC, CDC, EPA, HospitalityNet
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