As states open up and travelers start to consider summer plans, a hotel stay in the COVID-19 era will likely look different than those of the past. Depending on where your stay is booked, changes might range from front desk screens to no-contact room service.
On Monday, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) announced new protocol for its nearly 6,000 hotels in more than 100 countries around the world.
The "Clean Promise" by IHG calls for reduced contact at check-in, including touchless transactions and front desk screens. In guest rooms, there may be less furniture and the removal of high-touch items. Check out will be paperless. In public areas, guests will see "last cleaned" charts and social distancing may be required. Throughout the properties, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available in guest rooms and at high-touch points throughout hotels.
The changes will roll out globally on June 1.
Hotels managed by HEI group -- 82 in all -- will also have screens at the front desk. At these properties, guests will also see screens at the bar. In addition, guest room doors will have "door seals" placed by housekeeping so guests know they are the first to enter the room post-cleaning. Employees will have their temperatures checked daily before their shifts begin.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) earlier this month released "Safe Stay" guidelines that include no contact room service. Buffets will be limited and sneeze and coughscreens "shall be present at all food displays." The advisory council that came up with the eight-page guide is made up of 24 groups including Red Roof, Best Western, Omni and Hilton.
Guest experiences during a hotel stay will likely change as the virus grows or dissipates.
"When the time is right, hotels will be ready to safely and eagerly welcome back America’s traveling public,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. "The industry’s enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols will continue to evolve to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19."