A new world: one where traditional housekeeping isn’t adequate enough
Accommodation providers have always had to follow strict cleaning protocols, so as to meet health and safety regulations, and make guests comfortable during their stay.
But today, the old protocols are no longer adequate enough. Covid-19 has taken the hotel industry by force, not only impacting occupancy rates and revenue, but forcing even stricter health and safety protocols.
As a hotelier, it is now your utmost priority to keep guests safe from the virus during their stay with you. If you want to remain open, and invite guests to your property, you now have to implement and follow even stricter cleaning measures.
New hotel covid-19 safety measures
Hoteliers responsibility: ensuring the absolute safety of your guests
The concern of covid-19 is well spread (as is the virus), and in order to minimise covid-19 cases from growing even further, hotels must implement change across all departments.
The nature of the accommodation industry is that, as a hotelier, you are providing a home-away-from-home. Many people will choose not to travel at all, with the fear of coming in contact with the virus.
For those who do visit, this fear will still be at the forefront of their mind. It is of utmost importance that you minimise this worry. Reducing the spread of covid-19 and ensuring the safety of your guests is now your main responsibility as a hotelier.
Meticulous hotel cleaning measures
Strengthening protocols: the latest cleaning measures you should be aware of
Whether the scale of your operation is small or large, your accommodation acts as a centre point for people-mingling. People from all over, congregate within your property – this means it’s a prime spot for the covid-19 virus to grab on to hosts and spread through various communities.
So let’s see how we can stop this…
- Invest in hospital-grade disinfectants
- Practice deep-cleaning (clean every spot twice)
- Clean common spaces at least four times a day
- Implement automated sprayers to sanitise guest luggage
- Use disposable cleaning materials when possible
- Increase fresh air ventilation in common areas
Ensure a steady flow of fresh air through your hotel. Some studies show that air conditioning can heighten the risk of spreading covid-19, due to a number of people breathing in ‘rebreathed’ air.
Frequent, rigorous housekeeping
- Increase daily housekeeping to more than once a day
- Ask other departments to help with cleaning
- Use of disposable gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Use of alcohol hand rub (in addition to gloves)
- Implement strategies to remind guests that they’re safe (e.g. ‘clean’ stickers on room doors)
- Increase time allocated to cleaning rooms
If increased housekeeping causes delays to check-ins, remind guests that you are spending extra time ensuring that every surface and detail of their room is spotless, so as to minimise the risk of covid-19. (In the case they become restless.)
Staff health & responsibility
- Face masks and PPE to be worn at all times
- Use of hand sanitiser (and gloves for restaurant staff)
- Ensuring staff are educated on the risks and symptoms of covid-19
- Daily temperature checks of staff on arrival
- Responsibility of staff to not come in, should they feel any covid-like symptoms
Social & physical distancing
- Encouraging distance between guests (from different groups)
- Protective screens at front desks (and other service desks)
- Staff to remain two metres from guests at all times (if possible)
- Contactless check-in/outs (e.g. automation on smartphones)
- Common areas marked with distancing (e.g. restaurant tables and floor markings)
Clear guidelines & amenities for guests
- Complimentary hand sanitiser & face masks in rooms
- Letting guests know pre-arrival that face coverings are mandatory in common areas
- Bottled water provided in common areas (instead of water coolers)
- Disinfectant stations and hand sanitiser available in all common areas
- Clear covid-19 information provided (e.g. what guests should do if they feel symptoms)
- Reminding guests that social distancing is highly recommended
- Posting covid-19 best practice signs around the hotel to remind guests
Exclusive rooms for frequent guests
Some hotels have implemented ‘exclusive room’ measures for frequent guests. So for example, if your property has corporate guests who visit multiple times a week, you could consider blocking out a room just for them. This technique could also be optimised for VIP guests.
(Please note: this measure is more suited to large-scale accommodation providers.)
Be prepared for a covid-19 case
The last hotel covid safety measure you should be aware of is being prepared for a potentially sick guest. Following strict cleaning protocols, you will significantly minimise the existence of covid-19 within your hotel, however there is still the risk that a guest brings the virus in from outside.
Be sure to have a plan in place, should a guest fall sick while staying with you. All guests and staff should know the correct procedure, so as to avoid infecting anyone else within your property.
Come up with a safety plan should a guest feel any covid-like symptoms:
- Guest to contact Healthline to discuss symptoms
- Guest to inform front desk (via phone)
- Staff to contact an ambulance
- Staff to advise guest to stay in their room until ambulance arrives
- Staff to avoid any contact with the sick guest
Hospital-grade cleaning is the new standard
Looking-forward: the virus will hang around, so don’t let it be in your hotel
Keeping your hotel clean during covid-19 – latest measures are now the normal measures. Covid-19 has spread globally, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In fact, it’s likely that this pandemic is the world’s new ‘norm’.
What does this mean for hoteliers? Meticulous cleaning practices might be required for years to come – we don’t know when covid-19 will go. So it is your responsibility to introduce permanent hotel covid safety measures.
If you don’t take action, covid-19 could potentially spread in your hotel, and the impacts would be detrimental. Not only to the health and safety of the community, but to the reputation of your business also.
Don’t take the situation lightly: do your part and take care of your staff and guests.
Need help managing your housekeeping?
Try Preno, a hotel software system that has its very own housekeeping tab for your convenience.