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Hotel Industry Introduces Industry-Wide Cleaning Standards in Response to COVID-19

Safe Stay initiative developed by industry leaders and public health officials expands hotel cleaning and safety guidelines

May 6, 2020

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has introduced an industry-wide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols developed in conjunction with public health experts to advance best practices for protecting against the coronavirus. Called Stay Safe, the initiative is designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens.

“Safe Stay was developed specifically to ensure enhanced safety for hotels guests and employees,” 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.”

The Safe Stay guidelines, which can be downloaded here, include standards on employee and guest health, employee responsibilities, cleaning products and protocols, and physical distancing. The association says the guidelines are intended to be revised as needed based on the recommendations of public health authorities.

Several members of the ALHA advisory council, which helped develop the standards, are already implementing enhanced cleaning and safety initiatives. For example, Marriott International has established its own Global Cleanliness Council to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic at the hotel level. Another advisory council member, Accor, is working with Bureau Veritas to develop a certification plan for assuring virus-free accommodations.

Other properties worldwide, such as the Four Seasons Cairo, are retraining staff and deep cleaning facilities in preparation to welcome guests back. Meanwhile other hotels, especially in hard-hit areas like New York City, are rolling out the welcome mat for health care workers and first responders, or providing meals for people who find themselves in need due to the widespread crisis.