Hotel Health Policies During COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Sam KemmisMay 20, 2021

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Hotels have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have introduced many health and safety protocols to soothe concerns from wary travelers. These range from enhanced room cleaning to temperature checks for staff.

We have collected and compared these COVID policies among eight major hotel brands. At this point in the pandemic, these policies share many common features, such as requiring face coverings for guests and staff in common areas, yet many details differ between brands.

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See the table for a comparison of the different hotel brands and a more detailed description of each policy further down.

IHG and Hyatt only require masks for unvaccinated guests at its U.S. hotels, unless the local mask requirements are stricter than what is recommended by the CDC (in which case all guests must wear masks).

Social distancing: This includes policies for common areas and lobbies to ensure the appropriate distance between guests.

Rooms blocked: These policies ensure that guest rooms aren't accessed for a specific number of days between reservations or after cleaning by staff.

Low contact check-in/out: Features such as mobile check-in and express checkout, which minimize contact between guests and staff.

Masks required for guests and staff: Specific policies (not recommendations) that require staff and guests to wear masks (face coverings) while in common areas, including lobbies and elevators.

Staff health screenings: Specific policies (not recommendations) such as temperature checks to help screen potentially infected staff.

Trained local safety leaders: Designated, trained in-hotel leaders to oversee compliance with these health and safety protocols.

Hotel health and safety protocols are an important consideration when traveling during the pandemic. For the most part, these policies are now quite similar, but vary in a few particulars such as staff health screenings. If you have a particular concern, make sure to check the hotel brand's website for the latest policy updates before booking.

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