Post-Coronavirus: raising hygiene standards at traveller accommodation

Post-coronavirus a hand wearing a disposable glove disinfects a door handle

After weeks of social distancing measures and lockdown, thoughts are beginning to shift to life post-coronavirus. For the hospitality industry, this will invariably include raising hygiene standards at all traveller accommodation.

While hygiene and cleanliness have always been taken seriously at both long and short-stay accommodation, it is clear that extra measures are now needed to ensure the safety of guests and staff alike.

Skift reports that the Singapore Tourism Board is already taking action, with the launch of the SG Clean Programme. Accommodation that successfully complies with the seven requisites of the initiative earns the ‘SG Clean’ stamp of approval. The Grand Hyatt Singapore –where several COVID-19 cases were reported early in the pandemic– has been successfully certified.

Alongside disinfection protocols, the compliance checklist includes measures to monitor the health and hygiene of employees to reduce the risk of infection. It is hoped that 37,000 businesses, including accommodation and hospitality establishments, will eventually enrol.

Similarly, it is reported that Malaysia too, has implemented a campaign: Clean and Safe Malaysia. The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) will oversee the programme. Accommodation that meets the standards of hygiene and cleanliness are certified clean and safe by authorities.

While as yet there is no word from America or Europe to raise standards of hygiene and cleanliness on a country-wide, universal level (although it is anticipated), brands are taking it upon themselves to bolster their protocols and procedures.

Accor is developing an ‘operational guide’ for “all stakeholders in the hospitality industry.” It incorporates advice and guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Health Ministry, doctors and epidemiologists, alongside input from Accor owners and trade associations.

The group has also partnered with Bureau Veritas (a testing inspection and certification provider) to create a certification system for accommodation. Called ‘Label’, the status demonstrates that accommodation meets the required ‘sanitary standards’–something customers will be able to check before booking via the Bureau Veritas website.

Likewise, the Marriott announced a “multi-pronged platform to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviours.” The brand has created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to oversee the project, which will focus on enhanced protocols to minimise risk and increase safety for guests and associates.

Although the spotlight is currently on hotels, serviced accommodation providers will be required to take similar action; introducing additional processes to deep clean properties post-coronavirus.


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