Safety measures in place as hotels prepare to welcome guests again
July 14, 2020 | 5:00 PM
by Times News Service
Safety precautions have been drawn up in keeping with the instructions issued by the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19.

Muscat: Mandatory temperature checks for staff, random COVID-19 tests, and regular use of hand sanitisers are some of the steps taken by hotels to ensure visitors' safety as they open their doors once more.

Safety precautions drawn up by them are in keeping with the instructions issued by the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19, and the Ministry of Tourism, and are geared towards the safety of both hotel staff and guests.

Several global hotel chains that have operations in Oman have also issued guidelines to their establishments around the world, while making sure they meet local health and safety standards. One such hotel is Kempinski in Al Mouj.

“All of our hotels have been issued health standards, and we have made sure they follow the instructions put out by the Supreme Committee, after consulting with the Ministry of Tourism,” said Firas Rashid, the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

“We have placed hand sanitisers everywhere for our guests, and make sure all our areas are thoroughly disinfected.

“We are seeing some good demand for our rooms right now, even if it is only to do with domestic tourism,” he added.

“Our occupancy rate is currently between 20 and 30 percent, because a lot of local families want the rooms that have access to infinity pools: public pools are now closed and it is hot outside, so this provides fun for their family.

“We had previously taken bookings for wedding parties, but the guests could obviously not go through with them, because we were asked to halt operations during COVID-19,” added Rashid.

“A lot of families who had intended to get married here have now booked with us to enjoy their honeymoon. We are getting quite a few calls for enquiries from couples and families who wish to spend a few days with us.”

Rashid also explained the various steps put in place to safeguard staff, and limit the spread of infection on the premises.

“We make it a point to enforce social distancing in the hotel, in all common areas,” he said. “Right now, only two people are allowed to occupy a table in our dining area, while screens have been put up to ensure everyone’s safety in our work spaces. All of our workstations are also sanitised regularly, and we also conduct regular temperature checks and random COVID testing of employees.”

Other hotels and resorts in Oman have also made sure all of the necessary procedures have been put in place, before reopening their establishments to guests.

“The health and safety of all guests will continue to be a priority for Al Nahda Hotels & Resorts,” said Dr Mary Ann Roberta, Corporate Director Marketing and Development for the hotel chain.

“Based on expert advice and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Oman, Al Nahda Hotels & Resorts are delighted to re-open and will offer guests a minimal contact experience with the utmost safety, health and wellbeing of its guests in mind, to ensure an environment that is safe and healthy for both staff and guests.

“To ensure a smooth and seamless check-in and departure, staff have been trained to deliver a high standard of service with minimal physical contact,” she added. “Guests will receive a temperature check upon arrival and daily during their stay and staff have been trained to identify guests with respiratory symptoms. All luggage will be disinfected as will each 4x4 vehicle between the guest arrival and departure. Staff will provide guests with safety amenities such as mask, gloves and sanitisers to guests upon request.”

The mountains of Jabal Akdhar, known for their amazingly cool weather, even during the hot summer months, have always attracted visitors, and preparations to welcome guests there have also been completed.

A statement from Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar said: “With a commitment to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its team members and guests, and as a part of the recently launched Anantara ‘Stay with Peace of Mind’ programme, the resort has implemented new and enhanced procedures in compliance with the highest governmental and international hygiene standards,” “From digital check-in and checkouts to the thorough sanitation and disinfection of luggage, cars and rooms prior and after guests’ stay.”

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