Photography: Rhema Kallianpur/Unsplash

Hotels given the green-light, but with strict guidelines

CAPE TOWN – As level 3 restrictions ease, the South African government continues to keep the spread of the virus under control with strict guidelines put in place with the most recently released gazette outlining the rules of operation within the tourism industry.

Minister of Tourism, Mmamotoko Kubayi-Ngubane, released a gazette Yesterday (Monday) highlighting the set of regulations to be followed by hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, time-shares facilities and resorts and guest houses as they are given the go-ahead to reopen to the public this week.

Record Keeping

These establishments or facilities must –

  • keep a daily record of the full names, Identity Number or Passport Number, nationality, nature of position (i.e. temporary, casual or permanent), residential address and cell phone numbers, of all employees and guests. In the case of a guest with multiple stays or of an employee, the record obtained on the first day and as updated when necessary remains valid for the duration of the stay or of employment;
  • make such record available, should it be required in terms of the Regulations and by the Minister; and
  • keep the record for the duration of the national state of disaster and retain the record for a period of six weeks after the end of the national state of disaster

Screening, Sanitisation and Masks

Medium and large businesses and small businesses handling customers/guests exceeding 50 per day, must –

  • set up special screening stations just before or after entrances, at the front of queues, to facilitate screening and sanitisation at each and every entry;
  • conduct a screening questionnaire and take precautionary measures to protect the person and other persons on the premises. Such measures may include denying such a person access to the premises;
  • where necessary, after the screening, isolate a person in a facility within their premises designated for isolation;
  • ensure that guests wear masks at all times except when –
    • in the bedroom; or
    • eating or drinking.

Photography: Nik Lanús/Unsplash

Bedrooms

The following measures must be implemented:

  • Where dormitory-style bedrooms are used and shared between non -group /non -family members, a maximum number of occupants per room, at approximately 50% of capacity, must be determined with 4 to 5m2 minimum spacing per bed. For example, the use of only one bunk bed per bunk bed unit;
  • Room cleaning and linen change frequencies must be implemented to lower contamination risks to guests and employees;
  • Turndown service must be eliminated;
  • All excess softs such as cushions, throws, extra blankets and décor items and other superfluous items must be removed and items such as sewing kits, vanity kits, shoe cleaning kits, irons, and magazines must be made available for guest collection upon request;
  • In-room hotel guides must be through electronic or disposable options;
  • Sanitiser must be provided in all guest rooms and units for guest use;
  • Employees must wear Personal Protective Gear when cleaning bathrooms and may use disposable aprons;
  • Room cleaning employees must sanitise their hands and shoes and aprons on finishing each room and before entering the next room;
    • On check -out of a guest, all door handles, surfaces, including phones, TV and radio controls, kettles, curtain pulls /curtain edges, minibars, trays, amenity containers and bottles, furniture, and other movable items, wall surfaces close to traffic /seating/bedside areas, and all floors, walls, surfaces, and bathroom must be thoroughly cleaned or sanitised with an effective disinfectant and consideration must be given to replacing glasses, cups, teaspoons, etc., with disposables, or clean cups, glasses, etc., which must be brought in clean containers from stores.
    • Room keys or room access cards must be wiped or sanitised after every check -out and before every check-in;
  • Housekeeping must have sufficient time for thorough deep cleaning of rooms between check -out and check-in;
  • There must be efficient bedroom ventilation through effective air conditioning and /or opening of windows especially during bedroom cleaning;
  • Removal of soiled linen from beds must be done with care. To minimise contamination, linen and towels from room changes may be put into quality plastic bags which can be securely closed, or into washable cloth bags which can be closed for transporting to the laundry or for laundry collection;
  • Fewer guest supplies must be kept in housekeeping trolleys and the trolley and remaining contents must be wiped regularly and then be deep cleaned at the end of each day’s shift;
  • All cleaning equipment such as mops and wet cloths must be dipped in sanitising solution after each room clean and must be sanitised in a solution for 30 minutes at the end of each shift;
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses that provide accommodation for quarantine and isolation purposes must in addition to these Directions, continue to observe the terms and conditions of their operation as authorised by the departments of Public Works and Health.

Luggage

  • All luggage must be disinfected before or after offloading from vehicles and employees/owners handling luggage must sanitise or wash hands with soap immediately before and after touching luggage.

The full gazette can be viewed here: http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/

 

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