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

Sam KemmisMay 25, 2020

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Updates:

May 29

  • Marriott adds face covering requirement for staff.


With many potential travelers unsure whether to travel at all during 2020, hotel brands have scrambled to introduce new cleaning and safety policies. These range from enhanced room cleaning to temperature checks for staff.

Here we collected and compared these COVID policies among eight major hotel brands. We found a surprisingly broad range of steps each brand is taking to ensure guest safety, from ultra-specific 20-step procedures (Radisson) to more general commitments to “put safety first” with few concrete policies in place (Wyndham).

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Key takeaways

  • As of May 20, 2020, Best Western and Radisson have provided the clearest and most comprehensive policies. Best Western is the only brand that has specifically required housekeeping staff to wear masks.

  • Both Hyatt and Wyndham claim to be building comprehensive safety plans for their brands, but have not yet enacted these policies. Until more specific policies are enforced, we do not recommend booking with either brand.

  • Every hotel brand has introduced enhanced cleaning and sanitation policies for both rooms and common areas.

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

Social distancing

Rooms blocked

Low contact check-in/out

Packaged food

Staff wear masks

Staff health screening

Best Western

Choice

IHG

Hilton

Hyatt

Marriott

Radisson

Wyndham

Definitions

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

Rooms blocked: These policies ensure that guest rooms are not 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.

Packaged food: Replacing common-area food (such as breakfast buffets) with prepackaged grab-and-go alternatives.

Staff wear masks: Specific policies (not recommendations) that require certain staff to wear masks.

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

Best Western

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Mobile check-in and checkout.

  • Social distancing measures in common areas.

  • “If possible, guest rooms will not be entered for 24 to 72 hours after checkout.”

  • Prepackaged breakfasts.

  • All housekeeping staff wear masks.

Choice

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing measures in common areas.

  • Prepackaged breakfasts at many properties.

IHG

  • Partnering with the Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey to guide health policies.

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Reduced contact at check-in and checkout.

Hilton

  • Partnered with the Mayo Clinic and Lysol to guide health and disinfecting policies.

  • “Room seal” ensures your room hasn’t been accessed since cleaning.

  • Contactless check-in and checkout at many properties.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

Hyatt

  • Third-party auditing (GBAC STAR) of cleaning procedures at 800 properties (launching in May).

  • Planning to introduce “Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment” that will add many other policies “by September 2020.”

Marriott

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Mobile check-in and out at some properties.

Per an email send to managers, Marriott is also requiring face coverings for all employees but has not yet posted this policy on its website.

Radisson

  • Partnered with third party (SGS) to create a 20-step plan for cleanliness and safety.

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Prepackaged food.

  • Express checkout.

  • Team member temperature checks/screenings and personal protective equipment provided (though a specific policy on who must wear it is not stated).

Wyndham

  • Enhanced room cleaning (partnering with Ecolab to use EPA-approved disinfectants).

  • Social distancing measures in public spaces.

  • Providing guidelines to franchised hotels.

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