Protocols for Smaller hotels, Guests houses/Inns, Villa, Airbnb/Short-term Rental Management during COVID-19
The scope of these protocols relates to Smaller Hotels, Guesthouses/Inns, Villas, Airbnb/Short-Term Rentals. Smaller hotels for the purposes of these protocols are defined as hotels with 50 rooms or less.
These protocols provide guidance for managing these properties on island.
Smaller Hotels, Guesthouses/Inns, Villas, and Airbnb/Short-Term Rentals
Covid-19 Safety Point Person (SPP)- A minimum of one employee at any time during the opening hours of the venue must be a specifically trained and designated Covid-19 Safety Point Person. The SPP should conduct regular spot checks throughout the property and observe protocols being enacted. The SPP should also serve as a point of contact for employee and guest complaints and is required to document, investigate and triage complaints.
Depending on the size of the location, the Covid-19 SPP can be a full-time position or the duties may be allocated to an existing employee such as a director, manager or supervisor.
The Property Manager/Owner is responsible for ensuring the protocols are met and that the guests are made aware of information on Covid-19 safety protocols through the use of direct communication or signage and documents left inside of the rental property.
Management is responsible for ensuring all staff are trained and fully aware of all public health guidelines on preventing Covid-19. Provision should be made to ensure staff are able to take sick leave if symptomatic without penalties.
Properties are encouraged to register with the Ministry of Health to utilize the Tourism Health and Safety Programme. This allows reporting of illnesses in the accommodation sector to identify any potential outbreaks.
Marketing and Reservations
- Inform the guests at both the marketing and reservations stage that there are protocols and procedures in place for staff, suppliers and guests to follow.
- Inform the guests that certain services may not be available on the island.
- Inform guests of guidelines in place when they arrive in TCI and when they are at the Villa.
- Mark the ground with physical distance line spacing for queues and enforce physical distancing both inside and outside of an establishment.
- Erect hand sanitizing dispensers at the entrance to the establishment (preference for contactless).
- Supply the front desk, concierge station, luggage service and other lobby services with hand sanitizer.
- Allow for contact-less, digital check-in where possible.
- Brief employees at start of their shift to remind them to disclose if:
1) they have knowingly been exposed to anyone with Covid-19,
2) they have symptoms of Covid-19 and
3) they had an above normal temperature at check-in.
- Inform guests of the Covid-19 safety protocols and how to get more information should they require it. Enforce the wearing of face masks/coverings in public/common areas.
- Provide guests with a printed or electronic copy of the safety protocols which the operation is employing. Information should contain at a minimum the following:
- The steps taken to safeguard employees and guests.
- Expectations of guests while on property.
- Who to contact for questions or concerns in regard to the property.
- How to report suspected Covid-19 cases or exposure and how to contact the Ministry of Health.
Sanitise hands and the check-in area (desk, table, counter, pen etc.) after each customer engagement.
- Utilise digital key cards or disposable key cards when possible. If traditional keys are used, central drop boxes will be utilised awaiting disinfecting between uses.
- Discontinue holding of keys at the front desk on behalf of guests to limit the number of times the key is exchanged.
- Do not enter the guest room when dropping off luggage leave the luggage outside and have the guest bring it into the room.
- Restrict access to luggage storage rooms to employees only.
- Sanitize luggage carts after each use with an alcohol-based sanitizer (70% alcohol-based).
- Arrange furniture in the waiting/reception area to allow for physical distancing.
- Remove shared, self-service refreshments e.g. water, coffee, tea etc. from reception areas. Remove shared reception area material including magazines and books.
- Install hand sanitizer stations throughout the common areas and hands-free garbage cans with covers.
- Disinfect benches, chairs, handles, railings continuously throughout the day (a minimum of three times per day).
Guest Activities and Interactions
- Remind employees to greet guests with warmth and friendliness. Remember that guests are visiting to relax and enjoy the beauty and culture of TCI which includes the interaction with people.
- Instruct employees on how to remind guests of protocols with a smile in a polite and respectful manner if they make a request that is unallowable given the new protocols. Remember that everyone is learning together, and the rules are intended to protect all parties.
- Plan and configure activities (where possible) to be outdoors to allow for ventilation (games, fitness class, bars, dining etc.). Ensure maximum ventilation for indoor activities and venues.
- Encourage guests to bring and use their own reusable water bottles and consider selling them on property.
- All team members should receive training on best practices for personal hygiene and cleaning protocols based on guidance from local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- All staff should be advised to stay at home if they are ill or feeling unwell. Team members should be instructed not to report for duty should they or anyone they are living with exhibits symptoms of any illness (see annex A).
- Staff should bring their freshly laundered uniform to work and change into the uniform in a designated area on arrival at the property.
- Social distancing of staying 2metres or (6ft) apart shall be adhered to where ever practically possible.
- It should be mandatory for full time staff to wear masks throughout the day.
- Masks should be worn throughout the cleaning process.
- EPA-approved cleaning products and household disinfectants will be used exclusively (e.g. Clorox, Lysol, Fabuloso, Pine-Sol, etc.).
- All towels and linens will be laundered at the highest temperature setting recommended by the manufacturer and dried thoroughly.
- Employees should avoid shaking soiled linens.
Cleaning & Sanitation
- A Sanitisation station will be set up at the entrance to the property, this will have directions of how to sanitize and the necessary sanitization materials for people to use. All staff, guests owners and suppliers will be expected to visit this Sanitization station as soon as they arrive at the property and on departure.
- All high touch surfaces should be cleaned with anti-bacterial soap and water. Examples include: dining tables, kitchen countertops and appliances, light switches, door knobs, cabinet pulls and handles, railings, faucets, knobs, telephones, sinks, and toilets.
- Windows in bedrooms and common areas will be opened to allow fresh air to circulate during the cleaning process.
- All electronics and light fixtures will be wiped down including remotes and thermostats.
- All soft surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised in accordance with EHD guidelines.
- All floors will be swept and wiped with approved disinfectant cleaners.
- All doors & hardware will be cleaned and disinfected.
- Concierge when visiting the property, shall report to the sanitisation station prior to meeting the guests. Hands and forearms up to the elbow shall be cleaned and a mask/face covering shall be worn at all times.
- If the Concierge is meeting daily, then designate a meeting space for meetings with house staff or guests outside and ensure that it is cleaned before and after their visit.
- No correspondence by paper all must be by electronic format.
Suppliers Visiting the properties
- All suppliers should submit proper sanitisation protocols to the Property Manager / Proprietor and these should be vetted and approved by the property manager prior to them visiting the villa.
- Only approved suppliers should be booked by the concierge on behalf of the guest.
- No suppliers should be allowed to the property without agreeing a time and protocols.
- Suppliers should be expected to wear masks/face coverings at all times whilst on the property.
- Those suppliers who interact with staff or guests should have more stringent protocols to reflect this.
Suppliers Picking up from properties or External to the properties
- All suppliers should submit proper sanitization protocols to the Property Manager / Proprietor and these should be vetted and prior to the supplier visiting the property.
- Only approved suppliers should be booked by the concierge on behalf of the guest.
- No suppliers should be allowed to the property without agreeing a time and their protocols with the Proprietor.
- Suppliers should be expected to supply and wear face coverings/masks at all times whilst on the property and whilst providing a service to the guests off property.
- Those suppliers who interact with staff or guests shall have more stringent protocols to reflect this.
- Only approved suppliers shall be booked by the concierge on behalf of the guest.
All guests should be provided with a starter supply of essential amenities during their stay, again for peace of mind:
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Anti-bacterial hand soap
- Disposable disinfectant wipes
- Paper towels and toilet paper
For properties where a provisioning service is provided or where there is a chef.
- Provide written instructions for the guests at the villa on recommended protocols to follow whilst shopping or when cleaning or preparing food.
- Wear a mask/face covering and gloves while doing groceries.
- Agree the provisions required in advance to minimize visits to the Grocery Store.
- Identify the cleaned and sanitized area to place the clean products.
- Using gloves Remove all the plastic bags and containers, being careful to not contaminate the bare product. Throw the plastics and containers away immediately
For packages and canned food, wipe down with soap and water, alternately, a solution can be prepared with Bleach (this is for external use, not for human consumption) **5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water.
- This is the link of disinfectants approved to use during Covid-19:
For fresh vegetables and fruits follow the normal procedure of washing and brushing under running water.
- The important point for food is to know the temperature that needs to be cooked to kill all the virus and bacteria. If it is served fresh to make sure to wash it correctly.
- For every Product used to sanitize surfaces or food, follow the instructions on the label.
Chef Hygiene Procedure
- Wash hands and sanitise: before starting to work; after finishing every activity; changing products to avoid cross contamination. If gloves are needed, wash before and after using them and change them with every product to avoid cross contamination.
- Use Chef Coat only and exclusively in the kitchen, as well as the apron and shoes.
- Wear a mask/face covering and gloves while doing groceries. Talk to the guests about the menu in advance to avoid going to the market several times a day.
Protocol should a guest show any symptoms
- There should be a dedicated isolation room
- The management should be informed who will call the doctor.
- Everyone in the villa should be isolated whilst they undergo a PCR test for the Virus.
- All guests who tested negative should be allowed to stay.
- Guests who test positive should be isolated at the villa until they can be moved elsewhere or flown home after confirmation of two negative tests.
Protocol should a staff member show symptoms.
- The staff member should be isolated at home and all staff and guests who have been in contact with this person, should be isolated until a PCR test result is received for the staff member.
- All staff who tested negative will be allowed to continue to work.
- Staff testing positive will be sent home or elsewhere to isolate.
- Guests who test positive should be isolated at the villa until they can be flown home after confirmation of two negative tests.
- Suspend mini-bar service and in-room sale of items until further notice. Clean and disinfect the in-room fridge (if applicable).
- Discontinue the delivery of newspapers. Consider enabling access to online newspapers for guests.
- Remove moveable decorations or room amenities to limit guest touching.
- Remove extra pillows, blankets, linens etc. in the room to limit exposure. Provide extra items upon request. Deliver requested items in an individual single use sanitary bag/wrapping.
- Add hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes in the rooms (where possible).
- Disinfect in-room touch screens.
- Offer guests the option for a relaxed housekeeping schedule where cleaning only occurs less frequently as opposed to daily scheduled cleaning arrangements with the guest.
- Staff should be required to wear single-use face masks/face covering, single-use gloves, aprons and close-toed shoes when servicing each room.
- Line all trash cans with a disposal liner to make it easier to collect and dispose of waste.
- Discontinue nightly or evening turndown service to facilitate minimal contact and entry into the guest room.
- Removal of all soiled linens and towels and place in a bin with a cover for transport to the laundry.
Departure From the property
- During the guests stay and at the end of their stay, guests departing from the villa should use the sanitization station each time they depart or arrive back at the villa.
- Follow EHD established taxi or rental car protocols whilst using the vehicles.
Covid-19 Ministry of Tourism Health and Safety Protocols: Protocols for the Jamaican Tourism Sector 2020