The COVID-19 pandemic means that, more than ever before, tourism businesses need to have the health and safety of their customers – and their employees – at the forefront of their minds as they re-start operations. A national protocol has yet to be agreed upon, but best practice is already well established. Hospitality businesses need to be thinking about operational and staff preparedness, delivering a safe experience and rebuilding trust and confidence.
Operational and staff preparedness
Ensure you have:
- Obtained any licences required locally
- Developed checklists for infection prevention, cleaning and disinfection
- Ensured required staffing levels available to restart operations
- Implemented protocols and guidelines for staff health including stay-at-home policy for staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms. This briefing document lists some of the factors you need to consider as an employer in this context, such as the self-isolation period and stipulations around employee travel.
- Adjusted workplace layout to promote physical distancing and limit staff in common areas
- Implemented protocols to minimize physical contact
- Implemented enhanced protocols for food safety relating to supply chain control, food handling and preparation, hygiene, digitization and deep cleaning
- Aligned procedures on issues such as social distancing, mask usage and cleaning with local transport partners
- Integrated technologies to allow for contactless payment if possible
- Evaluated innovations for cleanliness and disinfection such as electrostatic spraying technology, UVC light and EPA based air filtration, with validation from expert bodies
- Implemented and retrained staff on new protocols for infection control, physical distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols (e.g. hand washing, use of masks and gloves)
- Instituted continuous monitoring of physical and mental staff wellbeing by leadership
Delivering a safe experience
Ensure you have:
- Implemented processes to ensure enhanced sanitation, disinfection and deep cleaning as well as increased cleaning/disinfection frequency
- Selected disinfecting products approved by health authorities
- Revisited guidance to cleaning team for all areas of the hotel, with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points such as room key cards, light switches and door handles
- Ensured physical distancing for guests through signage and guidelines
- Implemented guest health/temperature checks if required by legislation. This document outlines some important issues to consider if these sorts of checks are required, including the need for social distancing, logistics and privacy concerns.
- Recommended use of face masks for as long as required
- Enhanced food safety by avoiding guest handling of food at buffets, regularly cleaning machines, disinfecting tables immediately a guest has left and minimizing what is placed on guest tables
- Implemented physical distancing for event seating distribution and gathering size based on government guidance. This short video gives some useful guidance.
- Created water/soft drinks protocols at events, including recommendations for guests to use their own refillable water bottles or providing individual water bottles as an alternative
Rebuilding trust and confidence
Ensure you have:
- Provided clear, consistent and up-to-date communication to customers on new health and hygiene protocols both digitally and physically, and trained staff to answer questions. Here are some examples of how household-name companies are communicating with customers about their new COVID-19 protocols.
- Implemented clear signage throughout the hotel to inform guests of enhanced cleaning protocols, physical distancing and recommendations. Here are some samples that are free to download.
- Shared guest guidelines on basis of health authority advice that may include wearing of face masks, guidance on hand hygiene, physical distancing
For more information, visit: https://wttc.org/COVID-19/Safe-Travels-Global-Protocols-Stamp