• Cheré Dastugue Coen

Travel safe, y'all

Hotels promise they are doing their part.

Coen Family says "Mask up, y'all!"

I’m constantly asked if I, as a travel writer, are going places these weird of weird days. My answer is yes — and no. I have traveled by car within my region and I have stayed at a bed and breakfast and a motel chain, both wearing masks, using sanitizer to wipe down surfaces and asking for assurances that the staff is doing the same. I've been happy with the safety measures so far, but I urge everyone traveling to remain vigilant.

Here are some guidelines from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). The “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” informs guests on how to travel safely. This checklist is part of AHLA’s Safe Stay guidelines, an industry-wide set of health and safety protocols for guests and hotel employees. The Safe Stay Guest Checklist includes:

1. Require face coverings in all indoor public spaces and practice social distancing in all common areas.

2. Choose contactless options, where available, including online reservations, check-ins, and payments.

3. Consider daily room cleaning, only if necessary. Ask the hotel about your options.

4. Request contactless room service delivery.

5. Refrain from traveling if you have, or recently had, any symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

“The top priority for the hotel industry is the health and safety of guests and employees,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA.

Want to know more? Here are statements from AHLA Member Companies:

Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton said, “Hilton is united with the hospitality industry in prioritizing the health and safety of our guests and employees. We are supportive of the industry adopting consistent guidelines and practices that adhere to public health guidelines, including the wearing of face coverings indoors and in public areas. As part of our Hilton CleanStay program developed in partnership with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic, all Hilton Team Members are required to wear face coverings in an effort to protect all who enter our more than 6,100 properties worldwide.”

Mark Hoplamazian, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hyatt said, “At Hyatt, we require face coverings for hotel guests across the U.S. and Canada in order to care for the health and safety of our guests and colleagues. To help enable safe travel amidst the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we need to come together as an industry and promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing.”

Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG said, “It is critical we take action to protect the health and safety of guests and colleagues to build confidence in travel as the industry begins to recover. IHG fully supports the AHLA Safe Stay program, which complements the protocols in our own IHG Way of Clean, and the new Covid-19 best practices implemented in all of our hotels in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. Requiring face coverings in all indoor public spaces across our industry will help create an even safer environment for all travelers and frontline hotel colleagues.”

Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO, Loews Hotels & Co. said, “The travel & tourism industry is rooted in partnerships. As an industry we need to work and align together and AHLA’s Safe Stay Guidelines is an opportunity to do just that. As hotel operators and owners, we have a role and responsibility to provide a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for team members, guests and our communities, and now more than ever we need to ensure we are exceeding expectations in this area.”

Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott International said, “The health and safety of associates and guests has always been a top priority at Marriott. Part of our Commitment to Clean is that we’re redefining our cleaning and safety standards to align with evolving expert protocols as we all work together to manage the spread of COVID-19. Health guidance is clear on wearing masks and it is a simple step everyone can take when in public spaces of hotels to protect themselves, each other and associates. We’re pleased to join with the industry to create consistency and collectively support our communities so we all can travel more safely.”

Jim Alderman, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group said, “One of Radisson Hotel Group’s highest priorities is the continued health, safety and security of our guests, team members, and partners. One of the easiest ways to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 is by wearing a face covering, especially indoors. It’s going to take all of us working together, which is why we stand alongside AHLA in asking our government leaders to help make this national standard by implementing this requirement in their states.”

Stay safe, y’all. Wear your masks. Stay at least 6 feet away from others.

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