Our lives have been turned upside down for so long, and it’s normal for us to be nervous. Especially when it comes to navigating staying away from home, now restrictions are being lifted in post-lockdown. While this pandemic has been a huge test for us as a society, we finally are being allowed to take that break we were dreaming about months ago.
It’s been proven that we aren’t close to returning to the life we knew, and as much as we say we want to move forward, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand how to do this. COVID-19 has made us all adjust to a new way of life, making us move our social interactions online, allowing us to enjoy the little things, and get used to wearing a mask. With working from home becoming the norm, with months of us seeing the same walls of our home, and with our bodies aching from DIY, it’s understandable that we want to stretch our legs. Especially for those who may be experiencing cabin fever.
But now, with us leaving our houses, can we continue to protect ourselves?
Hotels have the answer, coming to our rescue with new safety precautions and booking restrictions to help you get the rest and relaxation you’re craving. While this does seem like the perfect antidote, it does come with side effects.
Below are some hints and tips for staying in walls that aren’t your own, and what hotels are doing to protect you while you’re staying in their hotel post-lockdown.
Much of this list can be both applied to those staying in the UK and beyond.
Questions To Ask Your Hotel
It’s essential for you to feel safe before you even arrive, otherwise you won’t enjoy your stay.
Hotels and businesses know this; because of this, many hotels are now offering their customers the chance to enquire before they book. You can call or email regarding their safety regulations, and even make contact with them for requests. If you are nervous, enquire with the hotel and ask them what it is they are doing to implement social distancing and limiting your risk of contracting the virus.
Things you could ask could be:
- Whether the hotel rooms are cleaned and then occupied
the same day? And, ask yourself if this would bother you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a room that hasn’t been used for a few days, as this can limit any additional risk of infection.
- What the hotel’s policy is on protocols for those
- It’s important to know for yourself, and others, what the hotel’s standards of care are towards customers who exhibit symptoms during their stay. This can also be helpful for yourself in case you are staying for a prolonged amount of time, rather than just a night.
- Does the hotel offer room service, and is this
- While dining areas usually mean a mask cannot be worn, some hotels offer room service only. It’s a good idea to know before booking what your standard stay will look like.
If you are staying somewhere you haven’t been before. it may be worth enquiring with the hotel what the businesses of the surrounding areas are doing. They may be able to tell you if restaurants close by require bookings, and they may even be able to offer advice on places they know are safer than others.
Remember, none of these things is unreasonable to ask. Some hotels even have a lot of this information on their website when you book, but if it isn’t asking them will help eliminate any worry you may have before you arrive. Hotels want you to feel safe because they want you to come back.
What Are Hotels Doing?
To help maintain social distancing, a lot of hotels have more signage up and more floor markings, showing clear paths for people to be coming and going. This is especially important as some customers may not be required to wear face masks for their own health.
In most common areas or shared areas, there are more stations for sanitisation offered—including reception desks and hallway walls. It’s still advisable to take your own, just in case.
Do Not Enter
Some hotels are now offering the chance for you to add signage to your door that doesn’t permit people coming to clean. These can last the entire length of your stay.
However, if you need new towels or your bin is full, place them outside of your room in the bags provided, and replacements will be left outside.
You can also have the option to decline housekeeping services if a sign isn’t provided at reception before your arrival.
If this is something important to you, it may be worth enquiring with the hotel you are looking at staying before booking—as this hasn’t been rolled out to all hotels as of yet.
It’s not surprising to learn that hotels are moving to contactless, including payments as well as restaurants and bars. This may be nothing new for those living in a city—where most of our way of life has adopted this measure. Cashless transactions are being preferred in most hotels, so be aware of this when travelling.
Hotels are even adopting contactless contact with customers, including digital check-in and check-out, and even introducing electronic communication within your stay.
If this is something which interests you, be sure to enquire with your hotel before booking what it is they’re doing to prevent the spread.
To limit the number of people in shared areas, like restaurants—especially in hotels which don’t have mandatory room service—you may be asked to pre-book a time slot to eat. This can apply to all meal times, from breakfast to evening means, so be sure to check out with the hotel if this is implemented.
This pre-booking may also be applied to sun loungers, outside tables, and sporting activities such as table tennis.
You don’t want to miss out, so it’s advisable to enquire before your stay or upon arrival.
What You Can Do
This list is a few things you can do to limit the spread of the virus during your stay. Even with all the will in the world from the hotel, the virus can still be spread by accidental mask slips and exposure to people who may show no symptoms.
- Open Windows
- When you are in your room, if the temperature allows you too, ventilate the room. The risk of the disease spreading in poor ventilation is higher, so let in some fresh air.
- Wash Your Hands
- We’ve heard this one since the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still as important now. Wash your hands before handling or eating food, and as much as you can in between. If you can, carry a bottle of hand sanitiser for your own personal use.
- Social Distance and Wear A Mask
- If for health reasons, you cannot wear a mask, it’s even more important for you to keep as much distance as you can. But, for those who do wear masks, ensure you pack plenty for your stay in case they become damaged or soiled in between uses.
With all of this being said, assess the risks for yourself above all else. If you have a health condition, consider what the risks are for you as an individual. The decision to stay away from home can only be decided by you, and what lengths you are prepared to go to.
Hotels are doing as much as they can, and are likely to implement further things when they become available and are proven. Thankfully, in the meantime, we are also allowed to take additional extra measures—like wearing a mask, which at least gives us a little control too.
When will you visit your next hotel for a lockdown getaway?