10 Ways Covid-19 will change your hotel stay
Australia is slowly trying to open borders up again to local tourists, albeit with a few steps forward then backwards again. To encourage Australian travellers to get out and start travelling again, hotels have overhauled their health and safety protocols. These will vary from hotel to hotel, but here’s 10 Ways Covid-19 will change your hotel stay.
Social Distance Markers.
Floors will have social distance markings to help maintain 1.5 metres of space between guests. Guest numbers will be limited in all areas of the hotel – from the lobby, to restaurants and bars, lifts and gyms
Enhanced safety in common areas.
Expect to see hand sanitiser stations in all key areas of the hotel. Temperature checks may also be mandatory for anyone entering the hotel and surfaces will be disinfected and wiped down on a regular basis. Cleaning staff will be far more visibly by intent than pre-Covid-19 and there may be a staff member designated to ensure health and safety measures are adhered to.
Check in and check out may be contactless.
Check-in and out is becoming increasingly virtual with many hotels enabling a no-touch/no-contact experience (via a hotel app or website) . Expect to see plexiglass barriers between staff and guests at contact points such as the front desk and concierge desk plus plenty of staff wearing face masks and gloves. Guests and visitors may also all be required to wear masks depending on the health advice and rules at the time.
There may be a longer wait time for the lift.
Some hotels are permitting only those staying together to travel in the lift together. At busy times this could place pressure on lift capacity and wait times may be longer.
Kits for personal use.
You may be given your own personal hygiene kit, containing hand sanitiser, a face mask and wipes to use during your stay.
Strengthened room cleaning protocols.
Rooms will be subject to extra cleaning. High touch areas will be a focus – such as door handles, light switches, televisions and remote controls. Hospital grade disinfectants will be normal and other high tech cleaning methods introduced. Electrostatic spraying is being used by some hotels to enable faster and more efficient cleaning, and ultraviolet light technology to sanitise smaller items like room keys.
Your room may be sparser
Many hotels have removed decorative items, like throws and cushions to eliminate the extra cleaning required. Your room may also no longer include pens, stationery, magazines or coffee table books – plus the mini bar may also have temporarily disappeared.
Room quarantine period between guest stays
After guest rooms have been thoroughly cleaned, many hotels are implementing a 24 or 48 hour policy between stays. Rooms will be sealed with no access permitted until the next guest checks in.
Bye-bye breakfast buffet.
Gone for now are the days of the beloved lavish hotel breakfast buffet. With social distancing difficult and communal handling of serving utensils unhygienic, dining will be a la carte. Restaurant and bar areas will have modified layouts to ensure tables are well spaced according to social distancing guidelines and menus may be digital or single use and disposable.
No more unexpected visits by hotel staff
Hotel personnel will no longer enter your room without permission. So it may be goodbye to your nightly turndown unless you’re in your room at the time of service.