What you need to know about staying in a hotel amid the coronavirus pandemic

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A nice hotel stay is one of life’s great treats, and hotels around the world are reopening and welcoming back guests.

But with the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, many people are wondering whether they’re safe to stay in.

Hotels are well aware of these concerns, want to reassure guests, and also have a duty to safeguard their own staff. So what should they be introducing or ramping up, and what should you be looking out for?

Current reports indicate that the greatest risk for transmitting Covid-19 is directly from person-to-person.

That means that social distancing from both staff and fellow guests is crucial, ideally at two metres, or one metre where this is not possible. The hotel should be enforcing this, and helping guests follow this rule in areas such as lobbies.

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Point A Hotels, which has properties in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, has introduced safety screens on its front desks, and social distancing floor markings.

Meanwhile, hotel chains such as Marriott are introducing mobile check-in options at many properties to minimise interactions.

Wearing masks at all times indoors is also important. Of course, if you’re eating or drinking indoors you won’t be able to remain masked, but again you should keep a safe distance from others. If possible, try not to face other guests directly, instead keeping to the side or back-to-back. Remember, people can be infectious even if they are not symptomatic.

In hotel pools, as long as the pool is chlorinated, it is safe to swim in. However, again you should be wary of proximity to others, as this is where the risk returns.

There is evidence to suggest Covid 19 does not linger in the air for a long time, so air quality in empty areas is not a big concern (that being said, you should still wear a mask even if no one else is in the corridor or lobby as you walk through it.)

Then there’s the cleaning side. Obviously we all want our hotel rooms to be thoroughly cleaned in normal times, but you should look for signs that the hotel is taking this side of things seriously.

That could mean a sign on the door indicating that the room has been disinfected before your arrival. Check bedside tables, bathrooms and air vents are free of dust, a key sign the room has been properly cleaned.

Point A Hotels is putting seals on every hotel room door, ensuring that no person has entered the room since it has been cleaned by housekeeping team. It is also spacing out room allocation for guests to help with social distancing.

Verdura Resort a Rocco Forte Hotels, on the coast of Sicily, says it has given all staff training in new Covid-safe protocols. Staff are temperature-checked at the start of each day and wear both masks and gloves. Luggage is being sanitised before being taken to rooms, lifts and corridors are disinfected multiple times a day, digital menus have replaced physical ones, and masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizers are provided in bedrooms and public spaces.

If the hotel you’re planning to stay in hasn’t outlined their own measures on their website, shoot them an email or give them a call to find out exactly what measures are in place.

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