The COVID-19 pandemic turned the travel industry upside-down. Due to the high infection and mortality rate of the new coronavirus, travel and tourism are on hold in many nations.
After implementing stringent quarantine protocols, some countries have managed to keep infections at bay and have gradually opened their economies, including tourist destinations. But eased lockdowns in some areas don’t mean the eradication of the virus there.
If you’re planning to take a trip, you need to choose the best hotels for travel in a world that’s not yet completely safe from the virus. You need to take crucial steps to ensure the hotel you’ll be staying in is clean and safe. One of which is ensuring hotel safety during COVID-19. Here are safety protocols accommodations should implement so travelers can avoid sickness while traveling.
1. Social distancing is strictly implemented
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If you’re wondering what to look for in a clean hotel, social distancing should be one of the most important. Social distancing is a crucial strategy in lessening infections in public places, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When travel restrictions are eased, you’re likely not the only one excited to be up and about. There will be people checked in the hotel with you, and you’ll also be interacting with the staff. Make sure that the hotel you choose is implementing strict social distancing like how some restaurants have done.
The first establishments to open placed markers on the floor to indicate the correct social distance for each individual. Barriers were also placed in key places like the counter or in tables to separate customers who would be dining in. Establishments also limited the customers allowed to enter the premises at any point in time.
Some social distancing measures include limiting elevator capacity, placing distancing marks, and discouraging close contact between strangers.
2. Rooms and common areas are regularly sanitized
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Aside from social distancing, the best hotels for travel during COVID-19 are ones who regularly sanitize the hotel premises to make it safe. Regular sanitation sessions require a longer guest turnover; you can ask hotel information about these policies before you book your stay.
Some people that have the virus don’t know that they’re carrying it. Although social distancing can help curb the spread from an asymptomatic person, the virus can still stick to surfaces that this infected person has touched and infects other people. Regularly disinfecting surfaces, rooms, and common areas can help prevent infections.
3. Personnel health is guaranteed
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Ensuring hotel safety during COVID-19 should also include the health of hotel personnel, especially the cleaning staff. The hotel’s staff occupy the premises and interact with guests every day. To consider the guests’ safety is also to be responsible for the workplace staff’s health.
Find out if the hotel you’re staying in has had its personnel tested for the virus and if it provides its employees with protective gear like gloves and masks.
4. Staff are fully oriented and trained about curbing the virus
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Hotel safety during COVID-19 is ensured foremost by the management and staff. When looking for clean hotels, make sure that managers and personnel in the premises are efficiently trained about COVID-19 safety precautions.
Hotel personnel should know how to keep the place and themselves sanitized and how to orient guests about safety protocols. Some guests might insist on not wearing masks or social distancing. Managers and staff alike should learn how to calmly handle these people, which might include urging them to leave the hotel or proceed to a medical facility.
5. No-contact room service policies are implemented
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Hotel policies should also include no-contact room services. For example, unless expressly essential, housekeeping should not enter rooms, and all cleaning procedures should be done after the guests have vacated the room. No-contact room service may also include limiting physical interaction during food deliveries.
6. Guest screening procedures are in place
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The best hotels for travel during COVID-19 should also have guest screening protocols in place. This includes requesting the guests to provide truthful information about their travel history before checking in and taking their temperature before entering the hotel.
A guest screening policy can help protect you from fellow guests that could infect you during your stay. The hotel should also have a policy regarding rejecting guests when the information collected about their health points to a possible endangerment of hotel guests and staff.
7. Use of technology is maximized
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Another way hotels can supplement social distancing in the premises is to maximize the use of technology. This helps limit physical interaction that can decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
Hospitality technology that promotes social distancing includes contactless check-in/out, touchless menu systems, and high-tech air purifiers. You can research accommodations that use technology like these when looking for clean hotels.
8. Disinfection items and protective gear are available to everyone
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Having disinfectants and protective gear readily available is also a plus when ensuring hotel safety. Signs encouraging physical distancing and good hygiene should also be in place, especially in common areas where it can be seen by everyone.
Two important tips in choosing hotels during a pandemic
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Booking accommodations in the middle of a pandemic is a tricky business, and it might take more time than what you’re used to. But ensuring your safety should always be a top priority because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travelers run a higher risk of contracting the virus. Here are a few tips that can help you ensure that your accommodation prioritizes its guests’ health and safety.
Do your research ahead
Before you even step out of the door, you should first make sure that your destination has accommodations that implement stringent safety measures against the spread of COVID-19.
You can do this by calling the management ahead of time and searching for information about their policies. You should also include in your research possible medical facilities you can run to for COVID-related issues. Make sure that you’re within reach of hospitals or clinics that are capable of handling the virus.
Don’t leave any information out
When talking to the hotel management, don’t be afraid to go into the specifics of safety precautions. It pays to be vigilant because not all hotels implement similar policies.
If you feel that their precautions fall short of health and safety recommendations, you can offer the management suggestions so they can beef up their policies.
After three long months of COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s no surprise that many people are itching to travel and experience the outside world. Eased quarantine measures in some areas do not spell complete safety from the virus. Making wise traveling choices such as researching your destination and accommodation can help protect you from the infection.