RIU Hotels & Resorts, two hotels in Hanover— Hotel RIU Negril and Hotel RIU Palace Tropical Bay— have developed 17 protocols that will serve to guide the hotels’ operations when they reopen.
These 17 protocols were formulated in conjunction with the Preverisk Group — an international management consulting company specialising in health and safety for the tourism sector.
RIU’s regional director in Jamaica, Frank Sondern, said that “we (RIU) understand that earning the market’s trust will be paramount as we move forward, therefore guaranteeing our staff and guests’ health and safety is our priority.”
Staff training and monitoring will form a crucial part of the new measures. These measures will apply to reception, housekeeping (cleaning), dining rooms, bars, kitchens, confectionery, goods reception, technical service centre, industrial zones, staff areas, staff transport, fitness, and entertainment.
RIU’s protocols for the reception area include the limitation of the hotel occupancy of 50 or 60 per cent. Guests’ temperature will be checked on arrival. There will be the gradual implementation of Web check-in to reduce handling physical documents as much as possible, the installation of safety screens at reception desks, respecting safe distances and using personal protective equipment (PPE) by employees. Besides, work stations and equipment will be disinfected at the end of each day. Guests will be encouraged to use the hotel app to search for information and opening hours to avoid handling documents.
In the rooms, all non-essential items will be removed, such as coffee machines, magazines, leaflets, and laundry bags. Amenities are also reduced to only the essential, and a hand sanitiser gel will be included in every room.
Sondern said it is committed to maintaining buffets in its dining room area. Lunch and dinner sittings will be arranged, the restaurants’ seating capacity will be reduced, and it will be compulsory to disinfect hands-on entry. All guests must wear gloves and masks to go to the buffet, which will now contain more individual portions, packaged products, and live cooking.
Pools will have capacity limits; there will be safe distances between lounge chairs and umbrellas. The frequency of cleaning the pool and jacuzzi areas will be increased, and water disinfectant products appropriate to the current situation will be used. Personal protection measures will also be respected, as staff will wear masks and gloves.
“We await further instructions from the Government, the Ministry of Health, and the different entities working on the protocols and steps the island should follow as we all prepare for the opening of our borders and the green light for the tourism sector to operate,” Sondern shared.