From last Monday, June 15, all non-essential retail, including clothing and craft stores, were allowed to reopen to customers again, and breathing new life into the country’s high streets. In addition to this, people have been allowed to meet with other people in groups of up to six to socialise in an outdoor setting. But what about hotels? Are they open right now, and what will they look like if they are? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Are hotels open right now?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today outlined a series of new measures for businesses, including hotels, to begin reopening.
Unfortunately, hotels are still closed for the moment, but will begin opening again on July 4.
Mr Johnson confirmed the move today, in his address to MPs in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister said that people would be free to “stay overnight in self-contained accommodation”, including bed and breakfasts, hotels and camp sites – all from July 4.
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Hotels reopen: Are hotels open right now in the UK?
Hotels reopening: The PM confirmed that hotels can begin reopening on July 4
Social distancing measures are also due to change on the same date, with the two-metre rule now being slashed to one-metre.
July 4 remains the date from which many hotel chains begin to take bookings for the summer.
However, just because hotels have the green light to open from this date, it does not necessarily mean they will.
The reason for this is because many will have to make significant changes to their everyday operations, ensuring that all safety measures are adhered to.
Hotels reopening: As part of safety measures, the breakfast buffet will no longer be offered
What will hotels look like when they reopen?
When hotels do reopen, they will inevitably look a little different to how you remember them being – including the removal of the breakfast buffet.
International hotelier Russell Katt told ABC Radio Melbourne: “The breakfast buffet is likely to become a thing of the past, at least for the time being.”
The chairman of the London Office of HVS continued: “Hoteliers will need to rethink almost every part of their business, focusing on all areas that are accessed by guests as well as considering the safety and protection of staff.”
Shared utensils are also likely to be put on side temporarily, as many hotel chains have stated their intention to use disposable tableware.
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Hotels reopening: Guests will be encouraged to check in online
In terms of payment, many hotels are expected to adopt similar procedures to shops, and limit the amount of cash handled and instead, encourage contactless payments.
In order to minimise face-to-face contact, some hotels will encourage visitors to check in online.
Customers using The Hilton have been able to do so for years, and are able to use the hotel’s dedicated app to do so easily.
Travelodge, which currently have some hotels open for essential purposes, have installed perspex screens in reception, and staff have been given PPE.
Another safety measure which will be implemented throughout hotels is increased cleaning routines.
InterContinental Hotels Group has launched IHG Clean Promise, with a list of new measures aimed at curbing potential transmission and putting customers’ minds at ease.
They include “reduced contact at check-in, touchless transactions, front desk screens, sanitiser stations, sanitised key cards, paperless checkout” as well as “additional deep cleaning of high touch surfaces”.
In addition, they will visibly “verify that items have been cleaned, by taking steps such as displaying ‘last cleaned’ charts around public spaces”.