How to stay safe at hotels during Covid-19

Traveling is not recommended in this time of Covid-19. But if you have to, here are some guidelines to keep yourself safe.
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Traveling is not recommended in this time of Covid-19. It can increase your risk of getting and spreading Covid-19 as it is mainly spread through close contact with another person.

If you do have to travel and stay at a hotel during this time, here are a few basic precautions to take according to WHO and CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen:

How to stay safe at hotels during Covid-19
Make sure to wear masks while checking in at hotels. Photo: Forbes

What to do before you arrive

Many hotel protocols have changed during the pandemic, so you should check the hotel's website or call for information on its safety precautions.

Ask about the property's new cleaning and disinfecting procedures and whether all staff members are wearing masks.

Many hotels have cut down on housekeeping and food and beverage services to limit guests' contact with people outside their group. Contactless online check-in, checkout and payment are also frequently available, in addition to mobile room keys.

What to do during your stay

Wash all parts of your hands frequently (at least 20 seconds if using an alcohol-based hand rub, and at least 40 seconds with soap and water), including after exchanging objects such as money or credit cards. Look for hand sanitizer stations and use them before going into dining halls, restaurants or bars.

Cover a cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, and throw away the tissue in a closed bin.

Maintain at least a 1 metre distance from staff and other guests. This includes avoiding hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. If you can’t guarantee the distance, wear a mask. Be sure to check local and national guidelines on the use of masks.

Minimize use of recreational spaces, including hot tubs and lounging areas, that would put you in close contact with others.

Carry disinfectant wipes to clean objects before and after you touch them.

How to stay safe at hotels during Covid-19
Remember to isolate yourself if you show Covid symptoms. Photo: Getty Images

What to do while at pools, beaches, spas or saunas:

Wear mask as required by local or national regulations. Remember to wash all parts of your hands regularly, especially in the toilet and change room areas.

Follow the rule of keeping yourself from a safe distance.

Towels should be for singular use and in the required place for the hotels to wash.

What to do while eating in a restaurant:

There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted by food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The virus can be killed while cooking food at temperatures of at least 70°C.

Food buffets are not recommended because of the risk of close physical contact with others, shared serving implements and multiple people touching the surfaces on the buffet. Indoor dining spaces should have a maximum of 4 people in 10 square metres. The distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair should be at least 1 metre apart for both indoor and outdoor dining, and guests that face each other should also be at this distance.

Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the area to clean their hands. When the physical distance of at least 1 metre cannot be guaranteed, masks are recommended to be worn by staff and guests.

What to do in the case of sickness:

If you develops symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, dry cough or tiredness, you should notify the facility manager and seek medical advice by contacting local health authorities.

You should isolate from others, including fellow travelers. If you cannot be isolated or staff need to enter the room, you should put on a medical mask, and people nearby should also wear a mask. If you are not comfortable with wearing a medical mask, then you should cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or use tissues to cover the mouth, and discard the tissue immediately into a closed waste bag.

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