The travel club for hotel lovers

Health and safety

As part of our ongoing promise to ensure the safety of our members, we have outlined the following post Covid-19 minimum health & safety standards for our hotels:

Compliance with Local & National Public Health Authorities

  • An assessment and action plan has been created in line with recommendations, policies and procedures set by local and national Public Health authorities to prevent, manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • The plan is reviewed and updated with any new guidance, procedures, or regulations by the relevant authorities
  • A management group to verify compliance is in place that represents all hotel departments, identifying any gaps and actioning any required adjustments and a logbook of actions is kept where appropriate
  • Sufficient human and economic resources are made available to ensure the action plan’s effective implementation

Visibility of Key Awareness Messages

  • Advisory documents/posters are displayed throughout the hotel to promote key messages among guests and staff. These include:
    • Promotion of handwashing (at least 20 seconds, all parts of the hand)
    • Respiratory hygiene and coughing etiquette
    • The need for social distancing i.e. entrances, reception, accommodation rooms, meeting rooms, pools, restaurants, bars, fitness rooms, spas, back of house areas, etc.
  • Reception staff, if requested, can advise guests of the hotel’s COVID-19 preventative measures
  • Telephone numbers of health authorities, medical centres, public and private hospitals are immediately available at the reception desk

Social Distancing

  • There is a socially distanced front desk/arrival experience in place that minimises employees contact with guests. Where possible, contactless transactions are undertaken
  • Leisure facilities and public seating areas are reconfigured to promote social distancing. This includes the lobby, restaurants, bars, pool areas, beach sunbeds, meeting rooms, fitness centre, children’s play areas etc
  • Maximum seating or attendance capacity for facilities is established, and where appropriate, pre booked appointments encouraged
  • Spaces where guests or employees queue are clearly marked for appropriate social distancing. This includes check-in, elevator landings and taxi lines
  • Only guest entertainment activities without close contact will be offered

Training & Policies

  • Information briefings and written instructions are provided for employees that include protective measures against the virus and how to minimise its spread
  • Employees are informed to always observe good hygiene practises:
    • Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Frequent use of alcohol-based sanitizers
    • Good respiratory hygiene (cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in a lidded bin and wash hands)
  • A procedure is provided that allows staff to report illness by phone (or email) ensuring workers with early stages of COVID-19 are quickly excluded from work and advised to contact medical professionals
  • Staff who have any symptoms, tested positive, or been in close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19 are excluded from work
  • Employees are advised to notify a manager if they see any co-worker or guests showing any signs of COVID-19
  • Reception staff, housekeeping, and cleaning staff are advised to inform management of any incidents noted, such as requests for doctors’ visits & possible sickness of any guests in their rooms
  • All employees receive training on COVID-19 safety and basic disinfection protocols:
    • Additional training on the correct use of chemicals, and wearing/disposal of PPE is provided for employees who have more frequent guest contact, such as housekeeping, F&B, maintenance, hotel operations and security
  • Face masks are worn in all areas where employees are producing food (ready to eat and cooked foods)
  • Additional training on the use of disposable gloves is provided to ensure correct and safe use. To include:
    • Disposable gloves are not a substitute for hand washing
    • Food handlers should avoid touching their face, eyes and mouth whilst wearing disposable gloves
    • Hands are to be washed immediately after removing gloves to avoid the possible contamination of food
  • Cleaning staff are trained on enhanced cleaning and disinfection required in a room that has been potentially contaminated

Cleaning Protocols

  • Hand wash stations and hand sanitizer dispensers (above 60 per cent alcohol content) are installed at key guests/staff locations (e.g. lobby reception, employee & guest entrances, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, pool areas, elevator landings, restrooms, fitness room)
  • Regular checks are undertaken to ensure all dispensers, hand dryers and other similar devices are operational and well stocked, with defective units repaired or replaced immediately
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of all public, communal and back of house areas is in place, with extra attention given to areas frequently contacted such as elevator buttons, handrails, switches, door handles, ATMs, gym equipment, pool seating and surrounding areas, dining surfaces and surrounding areas, etc.
  • Enhanced rigorous cleaning and disinfection of guest rooms is undertaken, paying extra attention to common touch, non- porous items, including telephones, faucets, light switches, door & furniture handles, temperature control panels, TV remotes, alarm clocks, luggage racks, safety deposit boxes, etc.
  • Items not easily cleaned are removed from guest rooms i.e. notepads, pens, magazines, bed runners, additional decorative cushions, hotel directories, etc.
  • Cleaning staff are provided with appropriate PPE as recommended by the WHO, and are advised not to enter an occupied room to clean
  • Rooms and public areas are ventilated daily

Managing Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

  • The hotel’s documented action plan includes procedures in the event of a suspected/confirmed case, in line with recommendations, policies and procedures set by local and national Public Health authorities
  • The ill person (guest or staff member) is isolated from other guests and staff at the hotel. The affected person must be provided with their own bathroom
  • The affected guest room is removed from service and quarantined:
    • The room will not be returned to service until an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process has been completed, using certified products, approved for use against the virus
  • The ill person is provided with a face mask and disposable tissues and advised to follow respiratory hygiene processes when coughing and sneezing
  • When attending an ill person, or entering an affected area where a person is displaying symptoms, additional protective equipment must be worn, removed, and disposed of in line with WHO guidance
  • A procedure is in place for managing soiled/contaminated bedsheets, towels, clothes which includes them being bagged directly into special, marked laundry bags whilst in the room, reducing possible dispersing of airborne contaminants and instruction given to staff to wash them at (70°C or more)

Children’s Facilities

  • If the hotel’s children’s play areas/clubs are open, special cleaning and disinfection protocols are applied
  • Staff are vigilant for any signs of respiratory symptoms and immediately inform the child’s parents and hotel management
  • An appointment only system is operated, alongside maximum capacity for each facility to comply with required social distancing

Restaurants & Food Outlets

  • Guests are reminded to disinfect their hands with sanitizer, preferably located at the entrance, when entering and leaving
  • Table settings are configured to seat a maximum of 4 persons for 10 square metres wherever possible. The distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair is more than 1m apart and guests face each other from a distance of at least 1m
  • Increased in-depth cleaning and disinfection of any buffet areas is implemented and is at least after each service
  • Tongs and ladles are provided with individual containers and are changed frequently
  • Consideration is given to serving individual portions or providing a serviced buffet to minimise contact

Food Production & Supply

  • A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is in place based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) processes to manage risk and prevent contamination of food
  • Food workers (food handlers, staff who touch food contact surfaces or other surfaces in rooms where open food is handled) adhere to the action plan
  • PPE, physical distancing and strict hygiene and sanitation measures, and the promotion of frequent and effective handwashing are implemented at each stage of the food production process:
    • Where physical distancing is not possible, other protective measures are considered and the number of persons in the food preparation area is limited
  • Processes are in place for external food deliveries to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
    • Drivers are provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizer, a disinfectant and paper towels, to use before handing over any documentation
    • Drivers are informed of physical distancing measures and the need to maintain a high level of personal cleanliness, including the use of clean protective clothing
    • Transportation containers are to be kept clean and frequently disinfected to ensure foods are protected and separated from other goods that may cause contamination

Maintenance

  • Regular tests of pools and water systems are undertaken to maintain concentration levels within the limits of required national standards, preferably at the upper levels
  • Dishwashers and laundry equipment are checked to ensure they are operating at correct temperatures, and correct dosage of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals is always applied
  • The condition of air conditioning filters is monitored, and maintenance undertaken to ensure increased proper replacement rate for indoor air

 


Private Villas

The same set of protocols are in place for our villa partners, whose health and safety procedures are often similar to those at hotels. We've stipulated that – where applicable – they follow the guidelines outlined above. Otherwise, they are required to follow public guidance as applied to a private-home setting.
 

 Definitions & Abbreviations

  • WHO: World Health Organisation
  • PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
  • Social Distancing: Involves maintaining a distance of at least 1 m (3 ft) and avoiding anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Social distancing includes refraining from hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with guests as well as among staff

Acknowledgements
Mr & Mrs Smith thanks our partners at British Airways Holidays and Dr. Sebastian Crespi, Director of Biolinea, for the content of this page.