As parts of the country begin to reopen, some travelers are formulating future vacation plans with an eye toward safety and risk mitigation.
Even long time hotel devotees may be wondering how much exposure to the virus they would risk by staying in a hotel, by way of the room, common spaces, staff, and other guests.
We talked to experts, including an infectious disease doctor, for guidance and tips on how to protect yourself if you’re considering checking into a hotel anytime soon.
Read more: Is travel safe? We interviewed experts on risks associated with flying, booking hotels or Airbnbs, renting cars, and more, plus ideas on safe vacations during COVID-19
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For some travelers, there’s nothing more desirable than the hotel experience, awash in luxury and service. But with the country re-opening in phases even as the coronavirus pandemic wears on, many are wondering how much risk they’d face if they booked a stay. Many hotel selling points, such as round-the-clock staff, might now seem like potential liabilities.
By definition, hotels are gathering spaces, filled with both staff and other guests. They are places where many objects — from remote controls to furnishings — are shared and reused by visitor after visitor, sometimes with mere hours in between. If these facts never raised red flags for travelers in the past, they likely will now, at a time when social distancing and sanitizing are top of mind.
To help break down whether hotels are safe to stay in right now, or anytime during the pandemic, we reached out to several experts — including an infectious disease doctor, a cleaning company owner with a new coronavirus division, and representatives for the Four Seasons and Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands.
Here’s what they said about how to know whether the property’s common spaces and rooms are clean and safe, how to take extra precautions when you get there, under what conditions you could risk exposure if you do choose to book, and if they themselves would take on the risk.
Finally, it’s important to remember that this is an evolving situation. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice set forth by organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures no matter where you go, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing.
Is it safe to stay in a hotel right now? What are the risks?
The novel coronavirus is known to spread primarily from direct contact with people. That makes hotels potentially suspect by their nature as places where people gather. These people are typically unknown to each other and from unknown backgrounds.
“The first thing that potentially opens up risk is running into other people that you have no idea what their infectious status is. We know now that there’s a lot of people who get the coronavirus who have no symptoms at all, who could potentially transmit it,” explains Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the division of infectious …read more
Source:: Business Insider