The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute has recently released a new certified training course entitled “COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels.” We attended the training ourselves and wanted to share our experience.
As with the generally prescribed precautions that we are to abide by during this pandemic, the AHLEI training is simple, straightforward, and should be intuitive to most. It is important to note that these are simply guidelines, and many procedures related to the frequency of cleaning and social distancing strategies are left to hotel management to develop. All staff should be trained appropriately.
The training organized into general categories, including Food and Beverage, Physical Distancing, Hand Washing, and more. As expected, detailed instructions related to cleaning a hotel room are the primary focus, along with the front and back of the house precautions for employees and guests.
The primary concepts are these:
- Don’t work when you are sick
- Practice proper social distancing
- Clean your hands
- Avoid touching your face
Clarification and Education
One of the more refreshing aspects of the training is that it clarifies and simplifies much of the information that is often misunderstood by some who are resistant to social distancing or wearing a facemask. For example, it is made clear that wearing a facemask is intended to keep others safe from water droplets. Droplets, being how COVID-19 germs spread, and “Droplet Control,” describing the measures taken to mitigate the spread. A snug fit covering nose to chin is also of great importance.
There is a clear distinction made throughout the training that “Cleaning” and “Disinfecting” are different from one another and have separate purposes. “Cleaning” refers to the removal of what is visible, while “Disinfecting” cleans the invisible. To add further clarification, “disinfecting” and “sanitizing” are also different processes that complement each other. When using a disinfectant, the surface must be sanitized afterwards as well.
The proper distancing for both staff and guests remains 6 feet, or more and measures are suggested to mitigate the spread of germs. These include taking steps to reduce crowding opportunities for guests, which may involve strategically placing furniture to prevent groups of people from gathering. No-contact payment methods should be implemented as widely as possible, and self-parking is encouraged. If a shuttle or van service is essential, all surfaces must be cleaned after guests depart.
What to Clean?
Cleaning solutions must contain at least 60 per cent alcohol to be a sanitizer against COVID-19.
When it comes to what and when to clean in a hotel, the answers are simple: “everything and frequently.” Although “high-touch surfaces” require the most cleaning attention, the broader guidance is that “if a guest can touch it, it should be cleaned and disinfected.” The suggested frequency of cleaning is as often as possible; however, it is ultimately determined by hotel management from location to location.
Hotel Room Procedures
With the goal of building trust among guests that their hotel is free from COVID-19, detailed processes are outlined.
Guests must approve the entry of any hotel staff into their room. Room service is now a no-contact delivery, and food buffets are discouraged.
All rooms are thoroughly cleaned after each guest has departed, again, focusing on cleaning anything a guest could touch. All lines are to be washed on the hottest temperature setting available. If a room has been exposed to the virus, it must be taken off-line immediately for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.
The American Hotel and Lodging Educational “COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels” training is a helpful tool for any hotel reopening for occupancy. The information and concepts are easy to understand and adaptable by any hotel, almost immediately. Those purchasing the course are given a 5-question quiz after the training, with the ability to retake the quiz as often as necessary.
As with all information and recommendations related to COVID-19 safety precautions, the training makes it clear that “we learn more every day.” It is essential to understand this statement to help those who feel that conflicting information is a sign of “flip-flop” science to be ignored.
For guests, it is crucial to understand the precautions that all hotels should be taking to ensure their safety. Hotel operators owe their guests the confidence that they are taking every step possible to do so.
If you need assistance with COVID-related solutions, make sure to explore the Inside Hospitality Solutions Supplier Network for more helpful information.