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Big hotels in India launch hygiene and safety initiatives due to COVID-19

Many hotel chains across the country have devised protocols to help keep Covid-19 at bay
Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock.com

Many big hotels in India have launched additional measures for safety and hygiene this summer. This is following the gradual lifting of lockdown in the country in phases since May and June. Here are a few of the many big hotel chains who have put in some protocols in place:

ITC’s WeAssure

The ITC Hotels have launched ‘WeAssure’ an initiative following hotels opening up after lockdown. The ITC has over 100 hotels across 70 destinations in India.

According to ITC spokesperson, the programme is “a first-of-its-kind initiative on health, hygiene and safety” certified by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) and DNV-GL business assurance certification to ensure stringent clinical levels of hygiene.

According to Nakul Anand, executive director of ITC Ltd, “The programme specifications reassure guests of visibly stringent cleanliness and disinfection processes.’

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Lobbies and reception areas will be disinfected regularly
Lobbies and reception areas will be disinfected regularly
Image courtesy: ©ITC

Revised protocols include checking the house activities that include receiving store, back offices, laundry to the public areas like lobbies with heightened sanitization measures for guest luggage, elevators to room service.

The initiative aims to ensure stringent clinical levels of hygiene and safety especially as hotels and hospitality industry services are slowly opening in India.

Tajness – A Commitment Restrengthened

All hotel staff will be required to wear safety gear
All hotel staff will be required to wear safety gear
Image courtesy: ©IHCL

The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has over 140 hotels across brands at over 70 destinations in India, many of them being authentic Palaces and distinctive heritage hotels.

Their spokesperson said that the hotels have developed ‘enhanced and exacting safety protocols in accordance with the norms laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the Government of India.

Layouts for seating and guest/associate movement have been altered to enable physical distancing in vehicles, lobbies, elevators, banquets, restaurants, service areas, and common areas. Surfaces, fittings, fixtures, furniture, equipment, stationery, vehicles, cutlery, crockery, linen, and laundry are religiously disinfected at regular intervals or upon every use. In line with the Tata values, IHCL is honoured to serve the frontline heroes #MealsToSmiles – by providing meals and accommodation at its select hotels across the country. The Taj Public Service and Welfare Trust (TPSWT), in association with Tata Sons, is also serving meals to migrant workers and daily wagers in Mumbai.

The Taj is also offering safe driving road trip holiday packages to their resorts in Karnataka and Hyderabad called the ‘Dream Drive Discover Delight’ programme.

Oberoi Hotels

The Oberoi operates over 30 hotels in India and has a long list of procedures in place.

These include sanitizing of touchpoints in public areas like door handles, elevator buttons, countertops, railings, bannisters and are part of housekeeping routines. Special sprays will be used to disinfect the hotel entrances, lobbies, and common areas. Rooms will be kept vacant for 48 hours after check out before the next guest is allocated the room.

Housekeeping staff will wear disposable gloves for each room they service and staff will wear masks. Restaurant seating has been configured to maintain a safe distance between guests.

Similar protocols will be in place for staff in kitchens, restaurants, dining services in rooms while serving or touching food. Cars used to ferry guests and their luggage are also sanitised and cleaned after each use.

Many hotels are upping their health and safety vigilance for fighting COVID-19 under the new normal.