Make sure you follow these rules during your next hotel stay
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Checking into a hotel used to be effortless and thrilling. However, with the third wave, many travellers are on edge when staying at a hotel. For some, like me, there's constant paranoia.
'What if I touch something?' 'Is this person too close to me?' 'Did they really sanitise this room?' are just some of the questions that I ask when I check into a property.
Of course, the tourism industry is doing everything in its power to ensure guest safety.
That said, guests also have a responsibility to adopt new methods to ensure their safety.
For example, in the past, staff would bring your luggage to your room. They would stack it neatly in the designated area and be on their way.
While that still takes place in most hotels, it's advisable to carry your own for your safety and others.
Also, bring a pen and avoid buffets if on offer (it is acceptable if the staff is dishing up for you or it's individually wrapped).
Do not touch any high-touch points, and wash and sanitise if you do.
And always wear a mask in all public spaces and common areas, regardless of your vaccine status. Sharmila Ragunanan, Group Marketing Executive for Dream Hotels & Resorts, points out that hotels take extra precautions to safeguard guests.
“Hotels are going above and beyond to maximise guest safety. This means training staff to practice good hand hygiene, perform temperature screenings and affording guests the option to request limited or no housekeeping services during their stay.
"Many guests opt to reduce the number of people who enter their hotel room, with some preferring to forego housekeeping entirely," she said.
Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch, said Stellenbosch was the first destination in sub-Saharan Africa to be awarded the prestigious Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
"This stamp is there to provide travellers with peace of mind that their safety is the leading priority.
“The Visit Stellenbosch team continues to work hard behind the scenes to ensure that all our members are fully compliant with Covid health and safety protocols,” she said.
Hotel guests also need to hold their accommodation accountable if they do not adhere to the rules.
Travel Savvy owner Jennifer Morris told IOL Travel recently that if the accommodation doesn't follow the rules, they do not deserve to host guests.
“Guests who do not feel comfortable should first try to bring their concerns to the attention of the accommodation management. If that does not result in better compliance, guests should check out and demand a refund for unused nights, citing 'false advertising’ or 'breach of contract' under the Consumer Protection Act.
“Furthermore, flagrant disregard of Covid-safety regulations should be reported to the labour department," she advised.