Hotels are scheduled to reopen on Monday 29thJune in Ireland. We have been in regular contact with our clients in the hospitality industry and a recurring concern has been how to open up safely. At First Choice Purchasing we have first-hand experience of the challenges presented by COVID19. Through our partnership with the NHI and supplying over 70% of Ireland’s nursing homes we are in a unique position to offer our expertise to our clients in the hospitality industry.
In part one of our reopening hotels series we covered the cleaning protocols needed. In this article we have reached out to our extensive network of contacts and consulted with governing partners within the hospitality sector to give you a guide on PPE and a recommended guest journey plan.
To be compliant, or exceed, HSE guidelines throughout the guest journey, hotels must reduce the number of entry and exit points for arriving and departing guests. Each access point needs to be equipped with hand sanitiser with appropriate signage for guests instructing them to use it as they enter and leave.
Required PPE (gloves, plastic aprons, etc) should be provided at the following locations:
Front of House
- All of the property’s entry and exit points.
Back of House
- Employee entrances.
- Specific department offices.
- Cleaning and Maintenance – gloves and aprons should be used for cleaning.
NOTE: Hand sanitiser or equivalent will be provided in each property and at all entry and exit points of the public areas including reception, restaurants and bars, and at entrances to public toilets, etc.
The Irish Government have recommended in instances where it is difficult to practice physical distancing to wear cloth face coverings. Face masks should be made available for guests who request them. Instructions on safe guidance of face masks can be found here.
Appropriate COVID-19 signage should be also be prominently displayed explaining the physical distancing and hygiene practices that apply throughout the premises.
Guest Arrival Plan
- Before a guest books or arrives at the hotel, they need to be informed of the guidelines that apply. Hotels should consider estimated arrival times of each guest, staggering each so you can ensure there is no unnecessary crowding.
- By implementing extending the check-in window, it will avoid large queues at the front desk.
- Where possible, guests should enter the property via automated doors or manually operated by an employee to eliminate the guests need to touch door handles.
- Employee should encourage one party of a guest group to use the check-in desk. Others in the same group need to be instructed to adhere to social distancing recommendations.
- Hotel employees should not touch or open door of arriving vehicles. If an employee needs to assist with a vehicle door or luggage, they need to disposable gloves. These need to be disposed after each use.
- If guests need to use bell service, request that their luggage be placed on the ground. The bell service can then proceed to transport the luggage. After each bell procedure, the bell cart needs to be thoroughly sanitised.
- Guests should receive a ‘Welcome and Safety Information’ sheet explaining the COVID-19 protocols in place. This sheet should inform them of how to interact with employees and other guests. It should also inform the guest about the hotels cleaning procedures applied to their room and locations of hand sanitisers.
- Clear marking should be in place to minimise contact between guests and employees. Physical distancing requirements and markings should also be placed at queues for reception, toilets, bars and restaurants.
- Display signage referring to COVID-19 measures in visible locations.
Guests should be encouraged to use card or contactless payment and pay in advance where possible. If handling cash, employees should wear gloves and observe the HSE’s hand hygiene measures.
- An employee should be assigned to sanitising the elevator buttons regularly.
- No more than two guest should occupy an elevator, unless they are a part of the same family group.
- Signage should clearly explain the procedures that apply with all elevators in the premises.
Outdoor Areas and Car Park
All outdoor areas within the property should be kept clean. Bins with disposable PPE, tissues, etc need to have lids to ensure possible contaminated items don’t spread. All rubbish needs to be immediately disposed of in an appropriate external facility such as a waste removal skip.
How can First Choice Purchasing can help?
We can provide your hotel with a secure and consistent supply of items needed to help your hotel open in a compliant and safe manner. Our supply chains are fully operational and our COVID19 response team are on call to help you. As well as our full range of goods and services we have introduced a complete range of COVID19 items:
- Hand Sanitisers
- A full range of HSE compliant cleaning products
- Decontamination service
- Floor markers & way finding
- A comprehensive range of PPE
– Guidance for Businesses Re-Opening when Restrictions are Lifted
– Guidance on the Safe Use of Face Coverings
– NSAI Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide
– Getting Your Workplace Ready Guide
– Ensuring Safety and Health at Work