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Completing health declaration form upon check-in, use of online payment for hotel booking, and body temperature checks are some of the procedures that hotel guests must strictly adhere to in the new normal in the hotel industry.

Under the new normal in hotels, only single up to double room occupancy is allowed. However, couples or family members who share the same household may be allowed in double or twin occupancy rooms. 

Handshake is a big no-no to greet guests, but the practice of Filipino brand of service or the “Mabuhay Gesture” in greeting and receiving guests, as well as other forms of contactless greeting, is highly encouraged.

Guests will also be given a sanitation kit, which may include 70-percent solution alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, face masks, disposable gloves, and rags.

Like medical front-liners, some of the hotel staff are advised to wear PPEs, face masks and gloves, when necessary, particularly staff who extend assistance to guests that require physical contact (e.g. wheelchair, bell service).

There will be no self-service station for guests in the dining area as all food and beverages must be served by restaurant crew or personnel. Buffet services and room service are also not available. Instead, guests can go to a grab-and-go station where guests can pick-up their breakfast or ordered food.

These are among the health and safety guidelines included in a circular released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for accommodation establishments under the new normal. 

The guidelines are for hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, private homes used for homestay, ecolodges, serviced apartments, condotels, and bed and breakfast facilities.

Under the guidelines, only guests cleared during screening shall be allowed to enter the hotel perimeter to check-in.

Guests shall be advised to disinfect their shoes using sanitizing mats provided at the entrances.

Hotel staff must follow physical distancing measures, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette when handling guests at the check-in counter.

Guests must be provided with appropriate information on the prevailing disease, as well as the policies enforced by the establishment to reduce the risk and spread of the disease. 

Information materials on hand washing and respiratory etiquette, proper use of face masks, emergency contact numbers, among others, must be provided to guests.

Guests must be informed of the management policies on room occupancy, dining, and use of public areas to ensure safety and reduce risk of infection. 

Hotel staff should emphasize physical distancing, wearing of face masks, proper hand washing/hand sanitizing practice to guests.

There will be no showing of guests around the room after check in. But they may be escorted to their room but following strict observance of physical distancing.

Guests must be provided with reminder cards that tell them the following: 

1. No sharing of food or any personal or non-personal belongings;

2. Proper disposal of used PPE;

3. Mingling with occupants of other rooms are not encouraged;

4. Practice of proper handwashing etiquette/hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and proper use of face mask, and;

5. Strict observance of physical distancing.

Official up-to-date information must be available at the reception desk about travel to and from countries and/or other areas, including local destinations that are identified by the Department of Health (DOH) as high-risk in spreading the virus or disease.

Emergency contact numbers of public health authorities, nearest hospital or medical center, and the DOH Assistance Center must also be readily available at the reception desk.

A floor marker that allows one-meter distance between guests on queuing must be in place to ensure physical distancing.

Acrylic glass barriers may be set up at the front desk for additional protection.

Contactless payment is also highly encouraged.

Front desk personnel must be familiar with room occupancy policy for accompanying persons in the event of a suspected case.

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