INTERNATIONAL REPORT—As the hotel industry readies for its reopening from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of companies and vendors are implementing new cleanliness and safety protocols. Here are some of them:
Hard Rock Atlantic City Implements Safe + Sound Program
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will reopen under the new ‘Safe + Sound Program, which includes upgraded health and safety guidelines throughout the resort.
The Safe + Sound reopening plan and protocols have been developed in accordance with guidelines provided by Hard Rock International and adopts the Atlantic City Casino Industry’s Summary Plan of Proposed Reopening Protocols in effort to take a responsible and conservative approach in providing a safe, secure and fun environment, according to the resort.
The Safe + Sound Program adheres to the directives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Safe + Sound guidelines and property updates include the following:
Personal Protection Guidelines
- All guests and team members will be required to wear masks or cloth face coverings that meet CDC guidelines, except when eating or drinking. Masks will be provided to guests as needed.
- Appropriate social-distancing requirements in gaming and non-gaming areas will be required and enforced by all team members, which will include more than 750 signs posted throughout the complex to help ensure adherence to Safe + Sound Program guidelines.
- More than 200 hand-sanitizer dispensers will be placed in all high-traffic, high-visibility areas such as key guest and team member entrances and contact areas such as valet, porte cochere, reception areas, hotel lobby, casino floor, restaurant entrances, meeting and convention spaces, elevator landings, pools and exercise areas.
- Thermal Imaging provided by Certify’s SnapXT will take the temperature of all guests and team members entering the property.
- Points of entry will be limited to allow the security team to conduct temperature screenings. Those who display a temperature of 100.4°F or greater will be escorted to a designated area for a secondary temporal temperature screening. Those who have a temperature of 100.4°F or greater will not be authorized entry to the property.
- The security team will be specially trained and responsible for all temperature checks, monitoring entrances/exits, reminding guests and team members of social-distancing requirements, managing line queueing and distributing PPE, as well as ensuring that everyone is following the required PPE protocols.
Safe + Sound Clean Team
- More than 100 team members will be part of the Safe + Sound Clean Team to focus on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the complex, with special emphasis on high-touch surfaces and common areas. They will be clearly visible with a lime green uniform stating “Clean Team.”
- The team will focus especially on the deep cleaning of all gaming surfaces, chips, hotel rooms, restaurants, pool and public areas.
- A designated member from each department will meet with the Safe + Sound Committee weekly to proactively monitor, communicate and enhance protocols.
RIU Hotels & Resorts Launches RIU Protect
RIU Hotels & Resorts has introduced RIU Protect, a new service for its customers that provides medical assistance to its guests, including any affected by COVID-19 infection during their holidays. The program was designed with insurance support from AXA XL and the guidance of Mercer Marsh Benefits.
“In these uncertain times, we want to offer our customers all the safety and peace of mind we can. So, when they make their bookings, they are given the option to cancel or make changes at no charge up to April 30, 2021,” said Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts. “The operation of our hotels will be guided by the RIU Post-COVID Manual, which includes 17 safety and hygiene protocols. We are also adding this new service to offer guests extra safety and peace of mind, as they will know that if faced with infection by COVID-19 or any other medical condition, they will also receive attention and care at no additional cost.”
The service offered by RIU will cover, among other contingencies, medical attention, surgery, hospitalization and emergency medical transport, with up to 30,000 euros (about $33,700) per guest. It will also cover extensions of hotel stays of up to 14 nights for medical reasons for all guests in the booking, as well as medical repatriation of the guest and return tickets for the other guests in the booking for the same reason.
Camino Real Hotels Adds Anti-COVID-19 Protocol
Olegario Vázquez Aldir, CEO of Grupo Empresarial Angeles, revealed that Camino Real Hotels, which operates 16 hotels in Mexico and is owned by Grupo Real Turismo, part of Grupo Empresarial Angeles, will reopen completely renovated, remodeled and disinfected, and will offer health guarantees to its guests by fully sanitizing all of its hotels.
Camino Real Hotels are getting prepared to estimate the maximum number of guests possible. This would increase according to the evolution of the “traffic light” risk system of the epidemiologic transition. For example, red would be for 25% occupation, orange for 50% occupation and yellow for 75% occupation.
Some areas with high risk of concentration—front desks, elevators and other amenities—will have strict protocols when it comes to maximum capacity. TV remotes, light switches, thermostat control boards and door handles will be thoroughly disinfected.
“These are only some of the measures that Camino Real Hotels will be taking as a course of action. We are also looking into creating and organizing a health and protection committee, which will aid us in the process of developing new strategies and making relevant decisions when needed. Furthermore, all employees will be subject to thorough protocols of safety and sanitization,” said Vázquez Aldir.