Here are some practical tips to avoid the COVID-19 virus whether you’re travelling for essential business or treating you and your family to a relaxing staycation.
Check Your Accommodation
Many hotel chains have stepped up their cleaning regimen to protect staff and guests. For example, Marriott International is treating high-touch surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectants; it is also placing disinfecting wipes in guest rooms for their personal use. Similarly, the Four Seasons group has implemented Lead with Care, a programme with enhanced procedures to protect guests and employees. In line with this, public areas and rooms are disinfected hourly with EPA-approved products. A kit containing masks, hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes will be available in guest rooms.
Before booking your hotel, check on the measures that have been put in place following the coronavirus pandemic. Visit the hotel’s website to see if they have communicated the following points:
- Are masks mandatory among staff and guests?
- Will the hotel provide masks for guests who don’t have them?
- What kind of social distancing measures are in place?
- Are there signs posted to educate guests on their policies?
- Are alcohol-based hand sanitisers readily available throughout the hotel?
- How often are public areas being sanitised?
- Is there contactless check-in?
If these answers are not available on their website, call the hotel and clear your doubts.
Are There Plans For Guests Who Fall Ill?
Find out about the hotel’s contingency plan for guests who become unwell. Does the concierge know where you can take a COVID-19 test? Does the hotel have a resident doctor, or the information on the nearest medical facilities?Book A Room That Has Been Vacant For A Few Days
A study published in the New England School of Medicine reveals that the coronavirus can live on some surfaces, including plastic and stainless steel, for up to 72 hours, which means there is a higher chance of being infected if the previous guest stayed in the room just before you check in. Dr Jonas Nilsen, co-founder of UK-based travel clinic Practio, advises that, to ensure maximum protection, travellers should call the hotel and request to stay in a room that has been unoccupied for at least three days.
Sanitise Your Room Upon Approval
Even if your room has already been cleaned, play it safe by wiping high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, light switches, TV remote controls, the bathroom, tables and countertops. While you don’t need to lug your own linen unless you have concerns about the hotel’s cleaning procedures, avoid using the bedspread, as this is unlikely to be washed regularly. Remove and stow it in the cupboard when you arrive. Wash your hands after doing so.Wear A Mask And Practise Social Distancing
Continue to practise safety protocols when you are in a foreign country, such as wearing a mask and staying at least 1m apart from other people when you are in a public space, including the lift.
Sanitise Surfaces On Your Seat, Whichever Your Transport Mode
Whether you are travelling by plane, train or bus, wipe all surfaces at your seat, including the seat belt, belt buckle, headrest, window shades, the tray table, and the air con and light adjusters above your head. If you’re going on a self-drive holiday, we have a whole other article on the essential items you need to stash in your vehicle to stave off the COVID-19 virus.