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

Sam KemmisJan 26, 2021
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Updates:

Jan. 26

  • Hyatt offers free COVID tests at some international resorts.

Nov. 2, 2020

  • Hilton no longer blocking rooms between guests.

  • Choice and Radisson require face coverings (masks).

Aug. 6, 2020

  • Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Radisson and Wyndham add face covering (mask) requirements.

  • Choice recommends face covering (mask) policies for franchised hotels.

  • Choice and Hyatt designate local safety leaders.

July 16, 2020

  • Hilton adds specific social distancing policies.

  • Hyatt adds new social distancing, check-in, and food policies.

May 29, 2020

  • Marriott adds a face-covering requirement for staff.


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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Key takeaways

  • As of Jan. 26, Hyatt has provided the clearest and most comprehensive health protocols.

  • Every hotel brand has introduced enhanced cleaning and sanitation policies for rooms and common areas, as well as social distancing and face-covering protocols in common areas.

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

Social distancing

Low contact check-in/out

Masks required for guests and staff

Staff health screening

Trained local safety leaders

Best Western

Choice

Hilton

Hyatt

IHG

Marriott

Radisson

Wyndham

Definitions

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.

Best Western

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Mobile check-in and checkout.

  • Social distancing measures in common areas.

  • Updated breakfast policies.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Choice

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing measures in common areas.

  • Prepackaged breakfasts at many properties.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Hilton

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Contactless check-in and checkout at many properties.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Hyatt

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Contactless check-in and checkout at many properties.

  • Staff temperature checks (where allowed by law).

  • Designated hygiene leaders to enforce safety policies.

  • Complimentary testing at some international resorts.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

IHG

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Reduced contact at check-in and checkout.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Marriott

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Mobile check-in and checkout at some properties.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Radisson

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Express checkout.

  • Team member temperature checks/screenings "when legally permitted or required."

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Wyndham

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing measures in public spaces.

  • Masks required for guests and staff in common areas.

Bottom line

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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