PORTLAND, Ore. — Many families are trying to navigate their summer vacation plans during the coronavirus pandemic, and that means considering a road trip in lieu of the typical airplane jaunt. Concerns about the safety of staying at a hotel during the outbreak are real.
Many travelers are curious to know if the hotel they book is following the needed safety precautions for their customers.
“There's no statewide requirements right now on time in between booking rooms,” explained Greg Astley, director of government affairs for the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.
However, many hotels are voluntarily taking steps to ensure guests and employees are safe.
“What we've done and what the American Hotel and Lodging Association has done is created a checklist of best practices,” said Astley.
Take for example the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg. It reopened in June to a whole new set of protocols. Here are some of the safety precautions that are now being followed:
- Guests must enter through only the main door.
- Before coming in all guests and employees will have their temperature taken.
- Valet parking is no longer an option.
- You may have to carry your own bags.
- Face masks will be mandatory.
“We're using barely 45% of the rooms. The reason why? We take at least 48 hours before we turn in a room,” said managing director Pierre Zreik.
During that 48 hours crews strip down the room and give it a deep clean which includes a disinfectant spray.
“We spray the curtains, carpet, the cushions; everything is sprayed down and then we wait another 48 hours before you come in and stay,” said Zreik.
The hotel also just installed higher standard air-filters in all the rooms and will be putting UV lights in all the air handlers in the next two weeks.
Of course, not all hotels will be able to go to these lengths. But most are taking extra safety measures. It's up to the travelers to do their homework. One suggestion is to check to see if the establishment follows the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association's commitment to safety. It means the establishment is going above and beyond just the state and local guidelines when it comes to COVID-19 safety measures.
The safest bet is to call the place ahead of time to check on it procedures and protocols. And then relax.