Enhanced Operational Guidelines in A Post Covid-19 Environment
The COVID-19 Guidelines for Accommodation have been developed to help guide properties in the tourism industry to keep guests, employees, and local community safe from risks and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines are minimum requirements and each property owner can implement more advanced guidelines within its property if so inclined. As medical research advances or the risk profile related to Covid-19 changes, the guidelines will be revised.
A team comprising of officers from the Quality Assurance Unit of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) and the Environmental Health Department (EHD) of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment will undertake monitoring to ensure that the minimum requirements are being adhered. If all minimum requirements are met the property will be issued with Environmental Health Department (EHD) Certificate of Approval.
Training is an integral component for the successful implementation and maintenance of these guidelines and for keeping visitors and employees safe. It is highly recommended and anticipated that training and sensitization guidelines be developed, updated, and implemented by the properties. In addition to general sensitization of the guidelines, more comprehensive training should be given to employees with frequent guest contact on proper sanitization and dealing a suspected case.
The scope of this document entails guidelines as it relates to hotels, guesthouses, apartments, villas, cottages, auxiliary accommodation, inns, bed and breakfast, lodges and resorts.
Accommodations must be in possession of valid licenses/permits to operate and for all relevant areas to include, restaurants, food storage, food handling areas, kitchens, bars, beauty salons, barber shops, manicure, pedicure, swimming pools, jacuzzi.
• Accommodation provider must identify a management team that will audit the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines with regular inspections to ensure compliance. A minimum of one employee at any time during operating hours must be a specifically trained and designated COVID-19 Point Person. The person should:
o conduct regular spot checks throughout the property
o observe protocols being enacted
o serve as a point of contact for employee and guest complaints and document and investigate complaints.
• Management must establish log-in procedures for employees and clients and maintain that information for potential contact-tracing.
• Management should have ‘Health Desk’ with the following capacity
o A designated person
o A logbook or record system
o Information to be collected –
o Measured temp.
o Vital signs
o Any chronic medical conditions
o A report will be collected by the HIU on daily basis
• Accommodation provider shall report any suspect case of COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment.
• Accommodation provider must institute a policy for allowing guest(s) who test positive in country to extend their stay.
• Management must enact policies on property to maintain visitor privacy.
• Accommodation sector must complete Covid-19 Action Plan to submit to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment for review and appraisal prior to opening. The plan must detail measures put in place to address all areas of the operation to manage and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amongst guest and staff. Additionally, the action plan should be flexible and continuously updated as new information becomes available.
Plan should be sent to Isabella John at email@example.com and Odile Jno Baptiste at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following which an assessment will be undertaken by the Quality Assurance Unit of DDA and the Environmental Health Department.
• Implementation of a robust continuing education and training system at accommodation to ensure all staff members are fully aware of the risk that exits according to duties and mitigation measures to minimize risk and exposure to COVID-19.
• Plan for implementation of clear measures approved by the Environmental Health Department to manage suspect COVID-19 cases in house while liaising with the quarantine authority or designated focal point.
• Infrared temperature thermometers preferably contact less to be used at entrances, for employees, guests, and suppliers. Anyone displaying a temperature over 100°F should be taken to a private area for secondary screening.
• Refrain from handshakes, hugs, and kisses. Determine some other way to welcome guests.
• Ensure that employees that are under Quarantine Order are not at hotel.
• Have procedure in place to manage suspected cases of COVID-19 with guests and employees.
• Implement and enforce strict hygiene rules for staff, based on CDC/WHO and Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment guidelines.
• Shared equipment is sanitized at end of each shift use (radios, engineering tools, etc).
• Ongoing training for staff regarding measures and health and safety.
• Provide staff with PPE masks and gloves where necessary and enforce use.
• Enforce social distancing for staff and guests.
• Touch-free hand sanitizer stations in all public areas.
• Post posters reinforcing social distancing and hygiene rules.
GUEST ARRIVAL/FRONT DESK AND LOBBY ENTRANCE
• Install a glass/plexiglass barrier between the front desk agents and the members.
• Create structured/dedicated lines including system to ensure 6ft distancing
• Use mobile check-in and check-out process or other self-check-in/check-out method.
• Introduce mobile keys or disinfect physical keys. Use antiseptic wipes to clean key cards after every use.
• All equipment disinfected between use.
• Luggage sanitization on arrival at property.
• Luggage carts should be sanitized after every use.
• Bellman uses a disposable glove for each bag handled.
• Bags are left in front of room at door and not taken into the room.
• Bellman wipes handles with disinfectant prior to guest handling.
• Guest should be encouraged to wash and sanitize their hands frequently.
• Hand sanitizer dispensers, touchless whenever possible, should be placed at key guest entrances, exits and contact areas such reception areas, hotel lobbies, restaurant and bars entrances, meeting and conference spaces, elevator landings, pools, spas and gyms, business centers.
• Guests should be encouraged to keep their social distance from employees and other guests that are not part of their party.
AMENITIES (POOL, GYM, SPA)
• Cleaning & sanitizing protocol practiced as per guidelines.
• Chaise lounge chairs to be sanitized after each guest use.
• All guest contact surfaces to be sanitized after each use.
• Towel area should be sanitized frequently.
• The entire pool area should be sanitized at least twice a day in the morning and evening.
• All lounge chairs set with appropriate physical distancing at least 6 feet apart.
• Number of persons in the gym should be restricted as per the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment guidelines for social distancing. It is recommended that at least six feet be left between machines or people.
• All gym equipment should be sanitized after every use.
• All contact areas within the gym should be sanitized every hour including all change rooms and washrooms.
• Meeting and banquet set-up arrangements will allow for physical distancing between guests in all meetings and events based on Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment requirements.
• Food and beverage service at conferences and meetings should be packaged.
• Individual bottles of water on meeting tables instead of a carafe for the table.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
• Tables cannot be pre-set.
• Set restaurant with at least a six feet distance between tables; reservations should be encouraged.
• Cleaning and sanitization protocol.
• Sanitize restaurants 3 times a day (after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner service).
• All tables and chairs should be sanitized after every guests.
• Menus should be sanitized after every guests or menu could be on a chalk board or disposable.
• Sanitizer available for guests use preferable touch free ones.
• Condiments to be served in single use containers (either disposable or washed after each use).
• Check presenters, votives, pens and all other reusable guest contact items to be either sanitized after each use or single use.
• Place mats should be sanitized after every use.
• Sanitize trays (all types) and tray stands after each use.
• Hostess station and point of sale to be sanitized after every use.
• Hostesses and managers to manage physical distancing at entries, waiting areas and queues (in addition to signage).
• Food preparation stations to be sanitized at least once per hour.
• Kitchens to be deep cleaned and sanitized at least once per day.
All equipment sanitized prior to assigning.
• Food, tables and trays are delivered in hallway (with plate covers) and guest are notified it is outside room. Guests will retrieve own table/tray.
• Table/tray placed outside room when done.
• Charge to room automatically, with no check signing.
• No printed menus in rooms. Consider an app or in-house tv channel.
• Suspension of mini bars.
• The following areas should be sanitized at least once per hour or more often if required:
– Guest elevators
– All entry doors
– Restaurant and public area handrails
– All front of house washrooms
– Lobby areas
– Activity areas
– Souvenir shops
• Any area where guests or employees queue should be clearly marked for appropriate physical distancing. This includes check-in, check-out, elevator lobbies, coffee shops and casual dining and taxi lines.
• Carts, trolleys and cleaning equipment and accessories to be sanitized at the start and end of each shift.
• Guest linen should be delivered and removed from guest rooms in single use sealed bags.
• Pillow protectors and mattress pads on the guest room beds are to be changed after every check-out.
• All items stored on shelves in the housekeeping storage rooms are placed in bags and not exposed to the open air when not in use.
• Extra pillows and blankets stored in the guest room closets should be removed and available upon guest request.
• Specific sanitation consideration should be paid to the following guest room areas: desks, counter tops, tables and chairs, phones, tablets and remotes, thermostats, cabinetry, pulls and hardware, doors and doorknobs, bathroom vanities and accessories, bathroom fixtures and hardware, windows, mirrors and frames, lights and lighting controls, closets, hangers and other amenities.
• Spray with long-term disinfectant via an electrostatic sprayer prior to every check-in.
• Minimize contact with guests while cleaning hotel rooms; guest room attendants should offer to return at an alternate time for occupied rooms.
EMPLOYEES (STAFF AREAS)
• Employee temperature to be taken on arrival at work.
• Employee assures that all items brought from home/the outside is disinfected when arriving at work (e.g. chef knives).
• Employee will wash hands every 30 minutes or when compromised.
• Employee must wear mask, and gloves always and replace when masks or gloves are compromise.
• All personal items like cell phones and bags need to be locked away in the locker and can only be retrieved during the employees’ break.
• No handshake policy – verbal warm welcome procedure.
• Social distancing should be mandatory among staff.
• Adequate posters and information should be placed in and around accommodation to provide relevant information/ reminders on COVID-19 action plan to both guest and staff. For example, frequent hand washing, frequent use of hand sanitizers, cough and sneeze etiquette etc.
• Signage must be installed in high-traffic areas indicating proper use and disposal procedures.
The recommended supplies listing is as follows:
• No contact hand-held thermometers (minimum of four – two per entrance and two for staff) and/or full body thermal scan – one per entrance
• Face Masks (enough for each staff member for each shift to have at least one)
• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (greater than 60% ethanol alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol)
• Medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (N95 face masks, face shields)
• Spray disinfectant/wipes
• Single use paper napkins or towels
• Soap dispensers and/or hand sanitizing stations
• Cleaning agents ((greater than 60% ethanol alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol)
• Hands-free garbage cans with covers
• Measuring device (tape measure, yardstick, 6 ft. pole etc.)
• Indicators (flags, markers, stakes, cones etc.)
• Back of the house (BOH) and front of the house (FOH) signage for protocols, awareness regarding symptoms and Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment contact information
Guidance for cleaning Public Spaces