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COVID-19

Hotel Industry Urges Face Masks and Contactless Service Moving Forward

Hotel Industry Urges Face Masks and Contactless Service Moving Forward
Joe Cortez

The American Hotel and Lodging Association now offers a checklist to keep hotels and guests safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. When checking in at hotels, the trade group recommends going touchless wherever possible, and mandatory face mask and social distancing policies in common areas.

Checking into your next hotel may look quite different for properties following guidelines from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The trade organization released their “Stay Safe Guest Checklist,” which mirrors many of the safeguards airlines are taking.

Face Masks, Social Distancing, and Contactless Service Among Best Practices

The checklist is part of the AHLA’s “Stay Safe” guidelines, designed to keep both hotel staff and guests safe from the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Much like airline safety policies, hotels are encouraged to minimize physical contact.

In addition to requiring face masks and mandating social distancing in all indoor common spaces, the trade group also suggests making the experience contactless wherever possible. This includes accepting contactless payments, managing booking and check-in online, and offering contactless room service delivery. The guidelines also call for daily room cleaning, but only where necessary.

The goal of the new recommended service levels is to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 between guests and hotel staff. By keeping distance and reducing touch points, the hotel industry says they may be able to keep their customers safe, and encourage more travelers to stay in the coming months.

“Utilizing these best practices, including requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces, will create an even safer environment for all our guests and employees,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA in a press release. “These preventative measures make it safer and easier for Americans to travel while also supporting hotel and tourism employees.”

Several hotel chains are backing the new guidelines, with plans to implement them at all properties. The supporters include Hilton Hotels, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group, IHG and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

Hotel Industry Changes Mirror Aviation Industry

With the new emphasis on closing social spaces, reducing physical contact and mandatory facial coverings, the hotel industry is mirroring many of the changes already applied by the aviation industry. Every airline requires flyers to wear a face mask while aboard an aircraft, and focusing on providing sealed snack bags and sealed beverages during in-flight service times.

United Airlines is taking things a step further, by maximizing air flow systems during the boarding and disembarking process. According to the Chicago-based airline, the moving air refreshes cabin air every three minutes, and can be cleaner than some restaurants and hospitals.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Podcat

    July 22, 2020 at 8:25 am

    “hotel industry says they MAY be able to keep their customers safe”? Well thanks so very much for that.

    The real issue is AIRFLOW. Long as hotels have central HVAC shared between rooms, the virus will spread rapidly. Configuring HVAC to contain airflow and using true HEPA filtration (MIRV 17-20j would be effective, but no one wants to spend the money on that. So the medical theater continues.

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