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Hotel Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Just like most other businesses in the world, a number of hotels have also begun to reopen their doors amid COVID-19. However, some people may still doubt whether it is safe to stay at a hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the explanation here.

Stay at a hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Staycation or stay at a hotel is one of the ways most people do to relieve stress. However, how to deal with stress can not be done given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, for those who are in the process of renovating their homes or on a business trip, hotels are their only choice. Therefore, some hotels still open businesses even in the midst of a pandemic.

For those of you who are just about to book a room, there are several considerations to consider when staying at a hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The risk of transmitting COVID-19 in hotels is the main thing, especially from contaminated surfaces or objects. In addition, it is possible for you to come into contact with those infected with the virus.

Here are things to consider when deciding to stay at a hotel in the midst of a pandemic.

1. Hotel staff and other guests

As you know, the spread of the COVID-19 virus can occur when you are in close proximity to other people. What's more, droplets (splashes of saliva)  contaminated with the virus can easily be spread in small spaces.

On the other hand, some reports suggest that people without symptoms (OTG) can spread COVID-19. This means that no one can guarantee that staff or guests who appear healthy are completely safe from catching the virus.

Therefore, some hotels are using new health protocols. The hotel asks its employees, especially those who clean rooms to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), ranging from masks, face shields, to special safety clothes.

2. Sharing facilities and common rooms

Apart from close contact with others, another consideration when staying at a hotel during a pandemic is sharing facilities and shared spaces.

Compared to the room you ordered, shared space and facilities are certainly more at risk of being contaminated by viruses. For example, a hotel lobby can be filled with a busy crowd in the morning at check-out and a swimming pool as a gathering place.

Therefore, maintaining a distance from other people, aka physical distancing, is very necessary when in public places, such as hotel lobbies.

3. How often is the room cleaned

According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the COVID-19 virus can survive on a hard, non-porous surface for three days. This also applies to plastic and stainless steel plastic goods and surfaces.

So far, no studies have shown how long contaminated droplets stay on soft surfaces. However, a hotel room that is not cleaned properly and thoroughly will certainly not remove viruses from all items and surfaces.

It is possible that the virus particles stuck in the air or any surface in the room came from guests before your hotel stays during the pandemic.

Tips to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 in hotels

Actually, there is no way that can make you 100% safe when staying at a hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, of course, there are some tips that can be done to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus while you are at the hotel.

There are several ways that can be used to reduce the risk of transmission and can be done before you book a room.

1. Ask the hotel health protocol

Before you decide to book a room to stay, try asking the hotel management for health protocols during a pandemic. The reason is, every hotel has a different protocol, so it's better if you ask before booking a room, such as:

  • air quality in the room, such as the use of air conditioning and ventilation
  • the option of not having to come into contact with staff, such as using a digital lock
  • the policy of the use of masks and medical examinations for guests and staff
  • request a room that hasn't been used for at least three days after use

2. Avoid public facilities and spaces

After confirming the medical protocols used by the hotel and feeling more confident, you may be able to visit there already. Don't forget to avoid public facilities and spaces during your stay at the hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swimming pools, spas, and gyms may be closed. If the place is opened, you might be able to reconsider whether it is safe to work out in the gym in the middle of a pandemic

The reason is, you will use it with other people, so it is better to keep a distance from other people and crowds.

3. Bring disinfectant and hand sanitizer

Even though the hotel has cleaned the room with disinfectant, it never hurts to bring disinfectant and hand sanitizer. Look, there will be lots of surfaces or items that you can properly clean when staying at a hotel during a pandemic.

Starting from the TV remote control to the buttons on the phone may often be ignored by the hotel. When cleaning items, don't forget to leave the surface wet for five minutes.

By cleaning your room independently, you will also help lower the risk of spreading the virus. Then, try to reduce the habit of touching your face as often as possible.

4. Wash your hands more often

One of the main keys to reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 is washing your hands, especially when you stay at a hotel during the pandemic. Washing your hands with soap and water after being in a public place is more effective at getting rid of the virus on your hands.

If water and soap are not available, you can use a hand sanitizer as an alternative. At least as long as you are in a room that is shared with other guests, such as the lobby or the elevator, hand hygiene is maintained.

In essence, staying at a hotel during a pandemic certainly has a risk of transmitting COVID-19 which is almost similar to other public places. Therefore, don't forget to keep your distance, wear a mask and take other preventive measures so you don't get infected.