How to protect hotel staff and guests from Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Hotels could be a hotbed for Covid-19. Here’s all the latest health and safety advice to keep it at bay.
This week, the government has issued advice for business and workplaces on how to protect people from coronavirus – now known as Covid-19. This is in response to the increased number of confirmed cases in the UK.
The advice covers the steps that must be taken if a member of staff or a customer reports symptoms of Covid-19, have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, or are due to return from an affected area.
Hotels in particular have a highly mobile customer base, so may need to be more alert to the signs and symptoms of Covid-19. If you work in a hotel, or manage from head office, here’s the latest advice.
What precautions should your hotel take against Covid-19?
The government advises that workplaces do not have to close merely out of precaution. They stress that if anyone reports symptoms of Covid-19, or are concerned that they have been in close contact with a carrier, then they should self-isolate quickly. Self-isolation should be at least 2 metres away from anyone else. In this event, call 111 for further advice.
How to manage self-isolation
An NHS representative will visit the location to carry out swabbing of the individual concerned. Self-isolation should continue until the swab result is confirmed. This will take around 4 days. If you need guidance on how to manage health and safety in the workplace effectively while this is happening, contact us at Navitas.
What happens when someone tests positive for Covid-19?
If a swab test is confirmed positive, the Health Protection Agency will visit the location, carry out a risk assessment and take over management of the situation. The government has put together new regulations to enforce the detainment and screening controls necessary to contain the virus. These will be followed in the event of further cases being identified.
How to reassure staff and customers
It’s understandable that people’s fears will be raised by reports in the news, so communication is key.
Encourage staff to report any concerns, and promote good personal hygiene. This can be enhanced by the provision of notices in key locations across the workplace such as reception and toilets. You can see more detailed advice on this in our previous article on health and safety precautions for Covid-19.
If there is a suspected case of Covid-19 in the workplace, this should be clearly communicated to employees, with reassurances that it is being managed effectively.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
Whilst symptoms have been described as similar to a common cold or flu, the key signs of Covid-19 are fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.
This is a new strain of virus, so it’s not yet fully understood, but there are some characteristics that have been identified. The incubation period is 14 days and there is currently little evidence that people without symptoms are infectious to others.
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surface is likely to have decreased significantly after 72 hours. Once similar viruses are transferred to hands, they survive for very short lengths of time. Regular cleaning of frequently touched hard surfaces and hands will, therefore, help to reduce the risk of infection.
Expert heath and safety advice to protect your business
If you need support or further information around your health and safety practices and preventing/containing infectious diseases, please contact us and we can put you in touch with one of our EHO trained experts.