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Coronavirus: Safety for hotel guests, employees

It is sad that the world is on lockdown due to the devastating impact of the outbreak of Conoravirus (COVID-19). The pandemic has so far killed many people, while grounding busineses and the global economy. It has also impacted negatively on hospitality business across the world as governments enforce safety measures to curb the spread of the virus, especially travel restrictions, which now hold back many guests.

Though the risk of guests who may be infected staying in hotels is currently very low because of the dwindling hotel occupancy across all brands in the world, some guests still find solace in hotel rooms.

Some guests such as business travellers with ongoing projects and investments and tourists on long stay, especially at some remote resorts and game reserves, are trapped in some hotels already.

These categories of guests cannot travel back to their destinations now because of the travel ban, hence are forced to stay back in their hotel rooms.

However, considering the fact that guests still sleep in hotels, especially those trapped overseas by travel bans from their respective countries, it is important that the hotel provides guests with information about COVID-19 to prevent spread upon their arrival to the hotel and insist on strict adherence to health safety measures in place. The hotel can refuse a potential guest access to property or even check-out guest who disobeys the orders in order to curb an imminent spread of the virus from a careless guest.

As well, hotels need safety measures now to also protect their employees who are most vulnerable in contracting the virus from unlikely guests who test positive.

Some of the safety measures include:

Guests in self-isolation If your guests need to self-isolate in a hotel, it is important that staff take precautions. The risk to staff should be low if they wash their hands well and the guests do not have symptoms. Staff should avoid close contact with these guests, but it is safe to be in the same room (at a distance) without protective equipment when delivering food, which we recommend that guests have in their room.

Cleaning guidelines

Cleaning staff should avoid close contact with guests who have self-isolated. They should wear gloves while cleaning and use alcohol hand rub before and after wearing gloves. As an added precaution, your cleaning staff may wish to wear a surgical mask while cleaning the room. Before entering the room, cleaning staff may inquire if people are well and ask them to put on a surgical mask.

Guests who become ill

If a person who has self-isolated or has been in a country or area of concern in the past 14 days develops symptoms, they should urgently phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 numbers, contacts and emergence helplines. It is also important to phone ahead to the hospital or doctor to get advice.

If you need to get urgent medical help for your guest ; call emergency health numbers and ask for an ambulance, tell the ambulance officers that your guest may have COVID-19 infection.

Staff should avoid contact with guests who become unwell and seek appropriate medical advice if this occurs.

Anyone who has visited countries or areas of concern in the previous 14 days who develops symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical advice by phoning healthline dedicated COVID-19 numbers and designated contact numbers.

Moreover, where a hotel cannot guarantee, it is advised that it scales down its operations or shutdown to safeguard lives. At the moment, many global hotel chains are scaling down to essential services, shutting down some hotels and are considering total shutdown if the impact persists.

No matter the option, hotels are advised not to compromise safety measures because their staff members and families can be infected.

Stay safe!

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