There have been many shows and YouTube videos investigating the cleanliness and safety of a hotel establishment. However after the pandemic hit, the entire term of keeping things safe and sound has been brought to a level like never before.
Among many industries, the tourism industry has taken one of the biggest hits due to the COVID-19 situation. The lockdowns and controlled movements implemented by governments around the world directly impacted the industry due to obvious reasons. With that being said, hotels and resorts are making their slow but assured recovery by enhancing their policies and maintenance protocols to ensure tourists can enjoy their stay without having to worry about their safety. The main arrangement of rules that together avoid the spread of contaminations by COVID-19 include:
- Practice social distancing– keep up 6 feet between and among workers and visitors consistently
- Screening staff – guarantee your staff are healthy and screen them for COVID-19
- After coming to work, every staff undergoes a well-being check, in case of symptoms, the employee is not allowed to work.
- Each employee performs his or her duties in disposable gloves and in compliance with the specifications, in masks or protective helmets, in areas of the facility where direct interaction with the guest takes place.
- Utilize proper equipment – a mask should consistently be worn by staff and visitors
- Clean/sterilize/disinfect– wash and sanitize hands, and wipe down often contacted surfaces
However, most hotels have taken extensive step-by-step measures to ensure the cleanliness and safety of visitors as well as their staff.
The lobby and check-in
Apart from a frequent and thorough disinfecting regime at check-in counters, almost all hotels are mainstreaming their online booking practice. This has been made more primary since the pandemic hit as the industry is trying to minimize face-to-face interaction. Hotels are also ensuring staff working at the check-in counters are set apart from one another for social distancing.
Elevators are thoroughly cleaned and there is a limit set for the number of passengers who are allowed in at a given moment. Hand sanitizers are also attached to the elevators for passengers to disinfect their hands upon pressing on the buttons. According to a study from UpgradedPoints, the average hotel elevator button has 1,477 times more germs than a household bathroom door handle. It also has 737 times more germs than the toilet seat in your home, this is one of the reasons why a public and commonly used space such as elevators are given the highlight for disinfection.
Try not to worry about anything not being clean in your room; hotels use sophisticated techniques to make their procedures even more robust, such as electrostatic sprayers and ultraviolet light. During a stay, housekeepers may not enter your room unless you ask; be prepared to ask for something extra, such as towels. Every room will be vacant for 3 days before the next booking to make sure the room is disinfected and cleaned. During cleaning work, the carts are covered by a protective foil, the vacuum cleaners are disinfected each time and the cleaning products are used in only one space. All rooms shall have details on the relevant security policies and procedures.
Food & Beverages
When it comes to Room Service, there will not be a staff who’s going to carry you a tray on a cart. In an attempt to conserve distance, plan to pick up your meal outside your door.
If you’re thinking about leaving the room for a meal, don’t expect all the restaurants to be available, and don’t expect a buffet. At your hotel, you see a buffet, but it is closely guarded by an attendant wearing personal protective equipment, along with sneeze and cough screens. It is imperative that all staff working at the hotel’s restaurant or bar work in disposable gloves and masks / face shields, maintaining a safe social distance.
For those travelling with expectation to indulge in the finest facilities hotels have to offer, you might want to rethink. Many hotels have closed their facilities such as the pool, sauna and gym in accordance with measurements to ensure the safety of guests and staff. Although hotels in whole face the risks of open and shared spaces, places like gyms and pools provide a higher chance for contamination and more of a challenge to practice social distancing.
In conclusion, it’s undeniable that the tourism industry has made huge changes and things that we as guests have enjoyed before have become a luxury we can’t afford anymore. Having said that, there is a threshold to surpass to feel a sense of normalcy again and the least we can say is hotels and resorts are doing everything from their part to provide that experience. Individually we need to do the same if we ever have a chance to turn things around.