Covid-19 and Hospitality

How to deal with corona in the hospitality?

Chances are that your employees have questions about the risks of the coronavirus in the workplace. What measures does your company take and what can your employees say to guests to inform them about this? To reassure your employees, you can take several steps to make them work with a safe feeling. Below you can read among other things what measures are recommended by the Dutch National Institute for Health and Environment (NIHE) and how you can apply them in your company.

What can you do against bacterial spread?

The coronavirus is spread through direct contract between people, or by the coughing and sneezing of an infected person. Contact between people occurs in the hospitality industry, among other things, by shaking a hand or serving food and drinks. In order to protect your employees and guests as well as possible, it is important to ensure sufficient disinfectants, for example paper towels at the sinks. With the paper towels, your employees and guests do not need to have direct contact with the tap when it is opened and closed, reducing the risk of bacterial spread. You can also offer disinfectant gel at the entrance, bar, in the kitchen and on the tables.

Why no masks (yet)?

In the Netherlands, the NIHE recommends wearing masks only for medical staff. The main reason for this is that the professional face masks they use only work if they are applied correctly. They need to close well over the mouth and nose and be exchanged regularly. The misuse of medical masks gives no certainty of protection.

What precautions your employees can take themselves

The NIHE advises to pay extra attention to personal hygiene. For example:

  • Wash your hands regularly, according to the provided guidelines.
  • Coughing or sneezing in your elbow cavity or in a paper tissue. You should throw this tissue away in a closed waste bin immediately after use.
  • After a working day, you must not work at least 11 consecutive hours.

You can ask your employees to wash their hands before they use food, after grabbing a bacterial object such as a doorknob or menu, and following the other guidelines of the Dutch NIHE. Other measures include:

  • Avoiding direct physical contact, or immediately washing hands after physical contact has taken place.
  • Keep your distance from people who cough and/or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching the face until right after washing the hands.
  • Stay alert if an employee has been in a risk area and take precautions into account.
  • Disinfect bacterial surfaces more often and keep soap dispensers well filled.
  • Communicate these measures to your guests.

Don't be reluctant to talk to your employees about the best hygiene measures in the hospitality industry, involve them in the process and come together to come up with a plan to make your business as safe as possible for them and your customers. Keep a close eye on the Dutch NIHE website for more information and any updates on the coronavirus.

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