Reopening Hotels after the Pandemic: Health and Safety
12th March 2021
On the 22nd February, there was a new announcement regarding the reopening of the hospitality industry. As a result of this news, the tourism sector is planning for the safe reopening of the industry, which has had a substantial amount of support from the government. The hospitality industry is expected to reopen on 17th May (Boris Johnson, 2021), and by 21st June large scale events will resume.
For now, preparing hotels for guests and employees is a top priority for Hotel Managers. Health and safety will need to be adapted and improved to ensure a safe work environment. The three main elements concerning health and safety are: Technology, Policy and Protection – employees and guests.
As hotels reopen, hotel managers are focusing on using various forms of technology to help reduce the risk of infection. This may include:
Becoming Remote hotel
This will be the perfect way to reduce personal contact with customers and staff. It will include mobile check-ins and check-outs, implementing contactless payment via smartphone, offering an opportunity to order anything via a mobile app, and meeting guest’s needs via Direct chat (Bondarchuk, 2020). Moreover, it will be facilitated by scanning a QR code issued at the time when booking (Gilliland, 2020). Setting up the mobile app for remote control a range of things in the room, such as the lighting and temperature (Xie, 2021). The functions of the remote hotel are helping to reduce the risk due to less face-to-face contact.
We made it possible to use your mobile phone as your room key. If you complete your payment in advance, you can use your smartphone to unlock your room with our dedicated app by pressing it over the locked part of the door (Hertzfeld, 2018).
Automated cleaning technology will protect our guests and employees. “The Light Strike Germ-Zapping Robots kill bacteria with xenon ultraviolet light pulses. According to the technology’s manufacturer, the robots have decreased environmental infection rates between 51 and 100%”. We are committed to doing our best to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for you (Gilliland, 2020).
Health and safety must remain a top priority for hotels. In order to keep employees and guests safe hotel managers will have to:
Personal Protection Equipment
Hotel managers must plan the PPE requirements of the entire hotel before reopening and make changes according to government regulations. They must be able to identify the best PPE for their employees based on their job requirements and interactions with guests (idcband.com).
To ensure the health and safety of guest and staff, a temperature check should be given to employees before shifts and to guests when they arrive at the premises (Darios, 2020).
It is another way to ensure the safety of everyone in the hotel, as they will remind guests to observe the social distancing rules (idcband.com and Darios, 2020).
Reduce the number of staff working per shift
Reducing the number of employees working per shift will increase their safety, as well as the customers’ The use of contactless technology will help employees work more efficiently, regardless of their being less on-site staff (Shashou, 2021).
Educating the employees on health and safety, for example, how to use the laundry professionally, the way of sanitizing the bedding while washing (Bondarchuk, 2020).
Frequent Air-conditioning service and maintenance tasks to prevent infection spread in the hotel (Verot, 2021).
Managers must ensure their hotels operate in accordance with government guidelines and are keeping the customers best interests in mind.
Health Protection Regulation 2021
Hotels have been a vital part of quarantining for international tourists. “The legislation, called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021” (Fox, 2012), requires travellers to quarantine in government approved accommodation. These hotels must operate under strict guidelines, in order to stay open during lockdowns.
Hotel managers must have a ‘Prevention Plan’ (Verot, 2021) in place and should give accurate and clear information to guests and employees, regarding covid-19 information.
Flexible booking / cancellations
Most Hotels are offering refunds, are allowing modifications to bookings and have a flexible cancellation policy (Verot, 2021).
Some hotels now have a support team, specialising in covid-19 and safety related issues. This team would allow hotels to review the existing health and safety protocols and improve them and this would ensure the safety of the guests (Radisson Hotel, 2021).
Although the hospitality industry is expected to reopen on the 17th May, the hotel manager will still have to take precautions when it comes to health and safety and there opening of their hotel. COVID-19 has made guests more concerned about their health and safety. After the pandemic, people will continue to prioritise personal hygiene. To make customers feel safe during the reopening of hotels, the manager could do more on health and safety to ensure employees and customers are safe enough. Coronavirus has shown the importance of hotel flexibility. While the hospitality industry is recovering from the covid-19 pandemic, managers should be well prepared for any policy updates and plan for their customers; provide a smooth and convenient, journey for our customers.
How do you feel about the hotel reopening? Do you find this blog helpful? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comment below!!!
Some very interesting points here, I like the idea of continuing health and safety after the ensure guests feel safe as this will have long-term effects on everyone who has been involved. I agree with the UV Robots could be very useful within our industries and current circumstances of the pandemic and post pandemic world to minimise the spread of infection. We have mentioned similar within our blog
@ ‘Is This The Future Of In-Person Event Design’ and examined further into the precautions that could be put in place when large scale events hopefully return in June
Hi Mia, thank you for sharing your idea, so glad that you like our blog’s idea. We believe that customer will more concern about health and safety after the pandemic. Therefore, it is important for hotel and other industries to focus on health and safety.
I have just finished reading this article you wrote on issues in events, international hospitality and tourism. I want to tell you how much I appreciated your clearly written and thought-provoking article.
While much has been written on this topic, your article expresses both the positive and negative aspects of this important topic, without taking an emotional stance on either side of the issue.
Thank you for your thorough research and clear writing.
Hi Henri, thank you for your comment. It’s great to hear your positive view. I hope the blog has helped you to understand the re-opening hotel.
With it being one of the hardest hit sectors, the reopening of the tourism industry is absolutely necessary to ensure its survival.
From my experiences hotels were already using mobile check-in and check-out points, albeit out of hours. I really think that this is a good idea for hotels to implement for several reasons – reducing the person to person contact, which could help those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
However the increased usage of this tech does beg the question of how much impact it will have on job stability for the staff who have taken on these roles.
Thank you for posting your point. This is an interesting question. Yes, we will have some advantages from using technology. On the other hand, the impact of job stability for the staff will be one of many changes. We will try to employ as many as we can, however we would like to think about the risks of COVID-19 as the first priority.
Thank you for such a pleasant read. I was wondering how the hotels would manage mobile check-ins for visitors who are not really good with technology. Also, enforcing social distance rules is going to be a quite a challenge in my opinion.
Thank you for your comments. Thank you for such a pleasant read. We suggest that hotel can arrange few staff to make sure customers have no problems with the check in process. But we will take measures to prevent infections when we contact customers.
Good article to know how hotels can do after pandemic, but I wondering is it enough to reconstruct the confident of visitor, like people are hard to know how many stuff have been done by hotels to deal with pandemic. And if unfortunately one confirmed case was found in hotels, visitor will immediately lose their confident or even panic. In my opinion, I think reforming health care policy of hotels is necessary indeed, but it is still hard to help hotel industry
Hi Night, thank you for your reply, it’s glad to hear that you find the blog is useful. As we mentioned in the blog, policy and protection is design for protecting the hotel employees and customers. It seems we have similar ideas on reforming health care policy. We also suggest the hotel can set up a support team to enhance customer safety and confidence.
Looking forward to being able to visit the UK sooner than later! With all of the safety precautions I feel like staying at a hotel is safer than my own house.
Do you have ideas on corona proofing room service?
Hi Niko, thank you for your comment. We suggest the use of smart phones for services required by guests in hotels, for the foreseeable future. This procedure will limit the amount of people in one room and reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Thanks for sharing this nicely written blog, I found this very informative and helpful as it provides a number of useful points and ideas to consider when reopening hotels. The blog covers all aspect of elements to follow to keep a health and safety environment for all.
Hi Jun, thank you for sharing. It’s great to hear that the blog is useful. We believe that everyone working in the hospitality industry is looking forward to the reopening of hotels. To make everyone feel safe, these tips focus on encouraging hotels to continue to prioritise health and safety.
Thank you for sharing. I run an airbnb / farmstay and this has been a really helpful read, some useful ideas on how to implement covid safe measures when the season opens again. I will be installing floor stickers shortly.
Hi. Thank you for interacting with this short guide to make your business safe for customers and employees. We hope your business continues to run efficiently and safely, with these tips.
Wow, I like the ideas of remote hotel, so the the contact between costumers and staff can be reduced. Unlike the traditional way, it seems like with a phone on hand, we can already check in, check out and unlock the room ourselves. Hope the hotels gradually use these methods, so it will be safer for both customers and hotel staff.
Hi Meiyi, thank you so much for your comment. Yes, the way of running hotel is changing; using a phone to control is more convenient and safer for customers and employees. We are suggesting the hotel try to use this way to protect everyone in the hotel. Remote hotel is not a new method but really useful to ensure people’s health and safety in now situation.
Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe Health and safety is an important consideration in hotel industry as it’s a high priority to keep both workers and guests safe. Love it!!!!
Hi Alyson, thank you for your comment; you are absolutely right! Health and safety is the most important consideration in the Hotel industry, I couldn’t agree with you more!
This is such an in depth article, it opens up ideas of multiple approaches on how hospitality industry would need to follow when they reopen.
Those approaches will help the industry to meet customers expectations on health and safety and ensure them to have a level of confident when they use the service.
Hi Zi, thank you for your comment. Our ideas are related to the health and safety of protecting everyone in the hotel. We hope the suggestions can help to satisfy the customers’ needs; keep their confidence in the reopening hotel at the same time.
This was such a useful and informative read. Having felt apprehensive about travelling in the near future, this article really helped put me at ease.
I’m glad to hear that the hospitality sector is leaning more towards technology. Even beyond the current pandemic, the remote facilities are going to simplify processes like checking in and out which will benefit many customers.
It sounds like there will still need to be an element of awareness and compliance from customers, to adhere to measures like floor stickers. It will be interesting to see how the hospitality sector will enforce these rules while still reducing human contact.
Thanks again for this insightful blog, it’s given me a positive outlook for travelling in the future!
Hi Marc, thank you for your comment. Yes, the remote facilities have not only to help the hospitality industry during the pandemic; it will help after, too. Technology can transform this process making it effortless and increase people’s confidence in hotels. Most people are more concerned with health and safety at this stage, contactless technology reduces the chances of face to face interaction between staff and guests.
Wow, this is a really insightful article. I would love to see hotels become more remote, not just for the importance of health and safety right now from the pandemic but also because becoming remote I think is the way forward in general as it makes everything quicker and seamless for staff and guests. I hope that the Hospitality sector can achieve these points and bounce back in the safest way possible. Thank you for putting this together and sharing.
Hi Portia, thank you for your comment. We agree. The ‘remote hotel’ is making hotel services more convenient for employees and guests. It does not only protect everyone’s safety, it also making tasks more efficient. We also hope the hospitality industry can bounce back in the safest way possible.
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