It’s all part of the new normal.
As the Irish hospitality industry prepares to re-open, Fáilte Ireland has published sector-specific operational guidelines to ensure all employees and managers are ready to operate as safely as possible ahead of June 29th.
The guidelines provide detailed advice on the necessary systems to be implemented by businesses in order to ensure that they are adhering to public health advice, such as physical distancing and the distribution of personal protective equipment.
As well as measures to avoid the spread of Covid-19, such as discouraging buffet-style breakfasts and removing shared menus on tables, hotels and B&Bs have also been given advice on how to react if a guest begins to suffer symptoms of Covid-19 or has been diagnosed with the virus while staying on the property.
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to appear. They can be similar to the symptoms of cold and flu.
According to the HSE, common symptoms of coronavirus include:
- A fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above)
- A cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Every business must have a Covid-19 Co-Ordinator
According to the guidelines, Covid-19 Coordinator (“probably the owner of the business”) must be appointed to monitor the new procedures.
If a guest presents with symptoms of Covid-19 or confirmed Covid-19, this coordinator will be responsible for managing the plan of action, created in line with Government Public Health advice.
Firstly, guests who begin to suffer symptoms during a hotel stay are asked to remain their room and contact the hotel reception.
According to the Fáilte Ireland guidelines, these are the steps that should be taken immediately by staff:
- Identify an isolation area e.g. a specific guest room away from other guests and employees where the individual can be directed while next steps are taken.
- Define how food and beverage will be provided to the individual while they are isolating.
- Define how trays, plates, etc are to be retrieved from the room, handled and washed to ensure disinfection.
- Outline clear SOPs for the cleaning, disinfecting and servicing of the room both while the guest is isolating and following their departure.
- Outline clear SOPs on how waste from rooms of suspected or confirmed cases are to be handled and disposed of.
- Develop a policy for usage of adequate protective items e.g. apron, gloves, etc. for employees who are appointed to the above activities.
The guidelines, developed by Fáilte Ireland in collaboration with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), the Irish Self Catering Federation (ISCF), the Irish Caravan and Camping Council, the Association of Visitor Experiences (AVEA), Ireland’s Association of Adventure Tourism (IAAT) and B&B Ireland, are available in full here.