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

Sam KemmisNovember 2, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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Updates:

Nov. 2

  • Hilton no longer blocking rooms between guests.

  • Choice and Radisson require face coverings (masks).

Aug. 6

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

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

  • Choice, Hyatt designate local safety leaders.

July 16

  • Hilton adds specific social distancing policies.

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

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 Nov. 2, 2020, Hyatt has provided the clearest and most comprehensive health protocols. .

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

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 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.

Masks required for guests and staff: Specific policies (not recommendations) that require both 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.

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

  • Prepackaged breakfasts.

  • All housekeeping staff wear masks.

  • No mask requirement for guests as of Nov. 2, 2020. 

Choice

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing measures in common areas.

  • Prepackaged breakfasts at many properties.

  • Masks required for guests and staff.

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.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Adjusted food and beverage service.

  • Masks required for guests and staff. 

Hyatt

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

  • 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.

  • Masks required for guests and staff. 

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.

  • Masks required for guests and staff. 

Marriott

  • Enhanced room cleaning.

  • Social distancing in common areas.

  • Mobile check-in and out at some properties.

  • Masks required for guests and staff. 

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).

  • Masks required for guests and staff.  

Wyndham

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

  • Social distancing measures in public spaces.

  • Masks required for guests and staff. 

Bottom line

Hotel health and safety protocols are an important consideration when traveling during the pandemic. As you can see, these policies differ significantly from one another, and are constantly being changed and updated. If you have a particular concern (such as mask enforcement), make sure to check the hotel brand's website for the latest policy updates before booking.

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