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Comparing COVID-19 face mask (etc.) policies at various hotel chains

Comparing COVID-19 face mask (etc.) policies at various hotel chains

Old Sep 22, 20, 6:02 pm
  #1  
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Comparing COVID-19 face mask (etc.) policies at various hotel chains

I'm interested in trying to compare the published policies (and actual practices if there's enough data) across various hotel chains regarding face mask (or face shield, etc.) requirements and possibly related policies such as maximum elevator occupancy when the people are not traveling together or members of the same family. I've tried searching for such information but without much luck.

When I look at "what to expect" on a recent Marriott reservation (emailed to me personally), I see a lot of PR about cleaning procedures and then the following statement:

"FACE COVERINGS: To promote the health and safety of our communities, face coverings are required for guests and associates in all indoor public areas in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America."

Some Marriott employees have told me that they've been instructed not to say anything to enforce this.

As stated, this can't be the formal official policy as it doesn't seem to exempt even newborn infants, people eating and drinking, or those using indoor swimming pools (some of which are currently open). It doesn't specify whether the face covering must be a mask or can be a face shield worn alone. An earlier version that I saw didn't contain the word indoor, so the implication would be that face coverings are required in parking lots, etc. The current version seems to exempt Marriott-operated shuttles, unless a bus is considered to be indoors, so IMO it's ambiguous here.

I've also noticed Marriott family hotels located in the same local jurisdiction (a couple miles apart) where one has signs saying only one person or one family per elevator while the other hotel has no such (posted or otherwise) policy. The hotels have roughly the same number of stories and similar ratios of elevators to room count.

What I've been able to learn regarding Hyatt is that a policy started for guests on July 27th (employees were required to wear masks covering their mouths and noses earlier, at least in the USA) that applies to public indoor areas in Hyatt properties in (ONLY) the USA and Canada. It says that some guests *may* be exempt, "including but not limited to" those under age two, those with (unspecified) medical conditions (without documentation like some airlines require?), or those consuming F&B in hotel restaurants (not bars or lobbies or any open lounges?). There's no mention of indoor swimming pools, some of which are currently open.

I only have a couple data points, but Hyatt elevators in the USA seem to be signposted for a maximum occupancy of four unrelated individuals.

Hyatt also says that they'll make face masks available (to guests claiming not to have one), but doesn't appear to say whether they will be free or not. I've seen them near the check in area in some but not all Hyatts recently and I've also seen them in Marriott family hotels, either individually or as part of some travel sanitation kit for sale.

Some hotels in both chains have distributed a one page COVID-19 policy fact sheet (including information about restaurant opening hours, shuttles, pools, etc.) at check in. IME these seem to have been drafted by local hotel staff or GMs individually and not by staff at corporate headquarters.

I haven't tried much to find policies for other chains such as Hilton, IHG, Wyndham, Accor, etc., but perhaps some people here are familiar with their current rules.

I'm interested in trying to discover whether, at least in the USA, some hotel chains have stricter policies than others regarding especially face masks so that this can inform my travel decisions. PLEASE do not try to debate whether face masks should be required or whether it's OK for elevators to be crowded. This thread is NOT about whether or not face masks should be worn (or should be required) but rather just the facts regarding policies announced by different hotel chains.

An obvious difference that appears above is that the Marriott policy applies to (at least almost all of) the entire Western Hemisphere while for Hyatt, it's only the USA and Canada (despite there being Hyatts in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, etc. plus on a number of Caribbean islands). Of course, if national/provincial/local policies would be stricter, the government regulation/law would apply.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 6:43 pm
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The Doubletree I stayed at in June and July required masks in all public areas. The pool, gym, lounge and bar were all closed. There were signs recommending people take the stairs and only one group or two individuals were to use the elevator at the same time.

The Holiday Inn Express I was at had a sign on the door saying masks were required but it was not enforced. The breakfast area was open and they allowed you to take what you wanted from their cold offerings.
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Old Sep 23, 20, 1:13 am
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A recent Hilton UK stay had signs up saying masks should be worn in public areas and only one family/bubble group per elevator.
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Old Sep 23, 20, 1:31 am
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I'm in a Hyatt (Istanbull) right now. Not sure about free/paid masks from the counter as I brought my own and haven't asked for one, but one was in my room along with a sanitizing wipe and I would assume once i used it, it would be replaced with a new one. They are asking people to wear masks in the hotel, with signs up everywhere. Hyatt Regency LAX also had signs up and made sure to tell me to use my mask when not in my room or actively eating, but no free mask in my room (didn't ask for one). They also had no market open, but if you asked for amenities (like toothpaste, floss, soaps, etc...) staff brought them up to the room after about 10 min.
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Old Sep 23, 20, 1:45 am
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IME it is driven not as much by chain policies but state/county guidance and hotel management enforcement - i've stayed in at least half dozen different Hyatt Places and prob 6-8 other similar type of properties from other chains over the last 4 months ... for example CO properties had much stronger enforcement of various measures relative to UT or NV but even within the same state HP Moab was very careful and proactive while HP St George didnt bother to do much..
Same applies to restaurants and stores - an older lady running a market and coffee shop in Escalante never wore a mask or required others while a younger couple taking care of another coffee/breakfast joint 50 mi away was very strict with precautions.
Just play it safe and wear your own KN95 or N95 in public - dont rely on how others manage things.
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Old Oct 4, 20, 4:53 pm
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We've been staying at Marriotts and initially was very happy with their policies and enforcement. This past weekend we were at a Marriott in Charlottesville and then one in Richmond - the diffference was night and day. In Richmond, the check in clerk had a mask hanging on her chin, there were large (>15) groups hanging out in the lobby, no masks in sight, no social distancing. In Charlottesvile (near UVA medical center) the masking and sanitizer and elevator signs/floor markings were prominent and enforced. So even within a state, the degree of enforcement is varied.
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Old Oct 4, 20, 5:22 pm
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I have stayed at Hyatt family, Hilton family, IHG family and Marriott family properties since June. 23 nights total, all in the Northeast/New England, Every single property had a no mask, no entry policy. Signs everywhere that masks must be worn and markers for social distancing. Signs at the lifts that one person or one family/traveling companions at a time.

Hand sanitizers were everywhere. I felt very safe.
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Old Oct 4, 20, 5:24 pm
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Here in central Europe, staff generally wears them (usually not covering the nose though), while most guests don't. This is true across all chains, irrespective of what the official policy is. From commerical perspective it's just not realistic to try enforcing it as they would have to kick most of their customers out.

I'm currently in northern Poland, the etiquette seems to be that you wear a mask when in direct contact with someone else (e.g. when checking-in), although this is also far from 100% compliance (tourists generally do it, locals not so much). Otherwise it's mask-free and no one seems to care, apart from one American guest we met in the elevator.

In bars and restaurants (including ones at hotels) it's completely random. Some people wear them when not seated, others don't. Both is accepted without any issues. Staff almost always has masks, but they wear them under their nose or they use those plastic mouth coverings.
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Last edited by the810; Oct 4, 20 at 5:47 pm
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Old Oct 4, 20, 6:05 pm
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My recent experiences at chain hotels have been quite hit and miss:

Mercure, Bregenz, Austria: Mask required at all times when not seated in the restaurant and disposable gloves required at the breakfast buffet. Rather stricter than the prevailing local culture at the time. Can't comment on enforcement or compliance levels, as I left and had breakfast somewhere else.

Crowne Plaza, Hannover, Germany: Masks not required in public areas. Required at restaurant when not seated - enforced but medical exemptions respected. Less strict than the prevailing culture.

Best Western, Kungälv, Sweden: One staff member wearing a plastic mouth guard. Not a mask in sight among guests.
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Old Oct 5, 20, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by the810 View Post
Here in central Europe, staff generally wears them (usually not covering the nose though),
In other words, they don't wear them.
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Old Oct 5, 20, 11:46 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
In other words, they don't wear them.
well particles largely expel through mouth especially while talking so covering mouth helps a lot..
that being said the attitude on display in europe seems to explain recent rapid increase in cases.. and its not even winter yet..
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Old Oct 6, 20, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
In other words, they don't wear them.
They wear them pro forma to satisfy the requirement. But yes, it's obvious no one really cares.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 7:57 am
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Hotels in Sweden aren't enforcing masks because there is nothing to enforce. Local authorities don't recommend mask wearing, people are encouraged to protect themselves by keeping safe distance from others [redacted by moderator].
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Last edited by l etoile; Oct 6, 20 at 1:12 pm Reason: Removed quote of deleted post and opinion on safety protocols
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