Based on the assumption that there is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to assessing something as unpredictable as an unknown disease, it goes without saying that “COVID-free” is not an accurate denomination. Yet the world is in need of some kind of guarantee that allows people to travel again and stay in hotels without fear of falling ill with COVID19.
During the recent months, the global Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives, and the way we travel will probably never be the same. However, a well-defined set of safety and hygiene measures and social distancing protocols might not only help save the tourism industry but even enhance the entire hospitality experience, provided that both customers and employees abide by the rules.
Associations in the tourism and travel industry from all over the world have been working to develop a thorough proposal for a COVID-free certification for hotels which must be endorsed by competent international authorities. If it gets approval, the establishments that meet the requirements and are capable of strictly following the protocols will be certified as “COVID-free hotels”, in a bid to regain customer loyalty and give peace of mind to those who do not trust public spaces anymore.
What are the distinguishing features of “COVID-free hotels”?
-Hygiene and disinfection procedures will be reinforced and will comply with sanitary guidelines already adopted by hotel chains in Asia. The goal is for “COVID-free hotels” to become virtually aseptic spaces, which accounts for the fact that many of the organizations involved in developing the proposal have turned to scientific and medical entities to design an advanced plan never applied before except for in hospitals and high-risk areas.
Cleaning and safety
-Electrostatic sprayers containing hospital-grade disinfectant will be used to clean rooms, lobbies, fitness centres, the dining area where breakfast is normally served and restaurants inside the facilities on a daily basis, so as to eliminate any remote possibility of being exposed to Coronavirus.
–Front desk staff will assist guests if needed from behind a Plexiglass panel for the safety of both parties.
-All members of the staff will wear protective masks and gloves.
Social distancing in hotels
-The communal zones will ideally have almost no furniture: this would allow for more empty space for customers to move freely without breaking social distancing.
-The signs on the floors that we have already become familiar with at airports, supermarkets and official institutions, which measure the mandatory distance between one person and another, will undoubtedly be present in “COVID-free hotels”.
-Other proposed measures will aim at avoiding human interaction, and might include digital check-in and check-out via smartphone applications or an onsite kiosk. Room service orders, as well as requests for other extras and amenities will equally be available through digital means. All orders and requested services will be delivered without coming into contact with guests, that is, by leaving food at the door for them to pick it up or by collecting laundry previously left outside the room.
Covid-free certifications and labels
If you have plans to go on vacation this summer, or if you need to go back to a job position that implies travelling, it is likely that you are concerned about Coronavirus. Anxiety and travel does not sound like a good combination, and so we recommend that you check in advance whether the hotel with which you want to make a reservation online has any “COVID-free” distinguishing badge or notice. In case it does not, you may contact them directly and ask if they are following any specific safety protocols and procedures to protect their guests against the virus.