WASHINGTON, D.C. – Support for the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AHLA) Safe Stay initiative continues to grow after endorsements from leading scientists, physicians, and public health experts in epidemiology and infectious disease.
The new endorsements come from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Association for Linen Management which represents those involved in the textile care industry. Praise has also come from Dr. Murray Cohen, a certified industrial hygienist and former infectious diseases epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and World Health Organization (WHO).
Safe Stay is an industry-wide initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.
The latest version of the Safe Stay protocols includes newly-released CDC guidance on hotel operations including meetings and events. Safe Stay includes enhanced guidance on elevator operations, food service protocols, and workplace health safety plans. The Safe Stay guidelines also feature the latest CDC recommendations on daily room cleanings to limit in-person contact.
“The top priority for the hotel industry has always been the health and safety of guests and employees. Through Safe Stay, AHLA continues to be recognized by public health officials and industry partners for our leadership on implementing rigorous health and safety standards,” said AHLA president and CEO Chip Rogers.
The new guidance around room cleaning is also in alignment with traveler priorities, as nearly nine out of 10 (88 percent) frequent travelers say limiting in-room housekeeping to ‘by request only’ would increase their comfort level. This is according to a recent national survey commissioned by AHLA conducted by Morning Consult. Additionally, nearly three-in-five (58 percent) of guests do not want daily housekeeping; and while the same amount would not be comfortable with housekeeping staff entering their room without advance permission.
Cohen said the updated AHLA Safe Stay guidelines are comprehensive and reflect the advice of leading health agencies.
“Based on my 45 years in public health practice, especially prevention of workplace infection transmission, I have reviewed the hotel industry’s guidelines and they are directly aligned with the public health guidance provided by the CDC for the hotel industry in ensuring the safety of both their workforce and guests,” stated Cohen. “The Safe Stay program adheres to rigorous hygiene protocols, social distancing, and contactless options to further limit unnecessary interaction between employees and guests.”
AHLA also recently released the ‘Safe Stay Guest Checklist’ for guests on how to travel safely while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide, which includes several requirements such as the use of face coverings and limiting daily room cleaning.