The hotel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, the worst is behind us. Life is limping back to normal in most parts of the country with an easing of COVID-19-induced restrictions.
Hotels around the country are reopening. Hoteliers are busy getting their hotels ready. Many hotels are making changes to their housekeeping procedures, guest check-in, and check-out rules, and food safety processes to enhance guest safety. Big brands such as Marriott and Hyatt are working with pandemic experts to figure out ways to keep their guests safe.
Here are some steps hotels are taking to ensure the safety of their guests.
Enhanced Disinfecting Protocols
Many hotels have introduced changes to their cleaning and decontamination protocols to ensure they align with CDC guidelines. Several hotels have joined forces with decontamination cleaning service providers in Sonoma County to develop robust and effective protocols.
Hotels have increased the frequency of cleaning public areas and rooms. Many hotels are using hospital-grade disinfectants to decontaminate areas.
Many experts recommend deep cleaning frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, front-door counters, elevator buttons, printers, screens, and handrails even more regularly throughout the day.
Industry heavyweights such as Hilton and Marriott are working on new sanitation technologies. They are experimenting with UV light technology that uses UV light to break germ DNA and electrostatic disinfecting, a method developed to quickly and evenly coat a surface with a cleaning solution.
Contact-free Check-in and Room Access
Social distancing is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against COVID-19. Until a vaccine arrives, social distancing is our best bet. Hotels realize this. Many hotels have implemented measures for minimizing contact.
Most businesses, if not all, within the hotel industry, have tweaked their check-in process. They now allow their guests to use their smartphones to check-in.
Many hotels have implemented advanced technologies that enable guests to use their mobile phones as keys to their rooms and order room service or make other hotel requests. While Marriott has already implemented these technologies, Hilton is in the process of introducing them.
Increased Focus on Employee Health and Well-being
Hilton is equipping its staff with personal protective equipment kits. It has also launched a program to train its employees. Hilton is distributing masks and gloves to its employees and is working on a plan to add partitions atop its front desks.
Hotel employees are being educated on protocols for dealing with staff members who are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19.
New Protocols on Travel and Serving Food
Several hotels have asked their employees to travel only if absolutely necessary. Employees who have traveled recently (in the past couple of weeks) must immediately report to management and must go into self-quarantine for two weeks upon return.
Many hotels have introduced new guidelines for employees working in their food and beverage department. These rules require workers to wash their hands multiple times a day. Many hotels have changed their food-serving protocols.
Many hotels realize that keeping their guests visually unaware and physically separated from their housekeeping operations is a bad idea.
To instill confidence in their guests, many hotels now allow them to walk through the commercial area and watch the food being prepared. When guests see areas being frequently cleaned with a well-known product, they feel safe.
Many hotels are introducing new housekeeping protocols that will include the placement of room seals on doors of rooms while they are cleaned.
Many experts recommend replacing buffet style with bagged meals. Tables and chair surfaces between seats should be thoroughly cleaned. Unnecessary items such as candles, salt and pepper shakers, and flower vases must be removed from tables.
Guests to Get More Sanitizing Tools
Marriott is stocking its guest rooms with disinfecting wipes. It has also installed several hand-sanitizer stations in communal areas of its hotels. Marriott is also mulling to add partitions to front desks in its hotels around the world.
It is working with its suppliers to make gloves, masks, and other protective equipment available to its associates. To ensure guests do not have to wait until they return to their rooms to wash their hands, Hilton is installing stations of disinfecting wipes in high-traffic areas (such as elevators and lounges).
To prevent transmission of viruses and bacteria through stationery items, hotels are replacing pens, paper, and guest directories (in rooms) with digital tools.
Protocols to Minimize Social Contact
Many hotels have introduced new furniture arrangements designed to encourage social distancing.
Several hotels have introduced on-demand housekeeping, which allows guests to request delivery of essential items and toiletries such as towels, toilet papers, and soaps without having a housekeeper enter their room.
To minimize the risk of social contact, many hotels around the country have introduced contactless water taps. Other measures adopted by hotels to minimize social contact include keeping doors in public areas open and implementing seating arrangements designed to help maintain a distance of 1.5meters between chairs in dining areas.
Enhanced Communication Protocols
Many hotels are using signages and decals to communicate CDC social distancing and personal sanitization guidelines. Several hotel chains have roped in experts to train their employees on decontamination practices and provide the information requested by guests.
Are you about to open your hotel after COVID-19 lockdown? Do not let safety take a backseat. At West Coast Fire and Water, we are committed to ensuring the safety of your employees and guests. We use time-tested practices and EPA-approved cleaning products to deep clean areas. To hire our decontamination cleaning series in Sonoma County, call 707-462-5326.