President Ramaphosa has called for a 21-day nationwide lockdown in South Africa from midnight on 26 March 2020 to midnight on 16 April 2020, “a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people”, which the City Lodge Hotel Group fully supports.
During this time, many of City Lodge Hotel Group’s properties in South Africa will be temporarily closed to the public. Hotels that are called upon to provide support to government and essential and critical business continuity services, as well as other enabling services in the form of either quarantine facilities or staff accommodation, will remain open. The Group is ready to support such initiatives as part of a coordinated response to this pandemic and remains well-positioned to re-open any of its hotels on very short notice as circumstances improve.
During the lockdown period, core central office functions will continue to operate remotely and all booking channels, including the Group’s website, will remain open for all of hotels, for reservations post the lockdown period.
The COVID-19 protocol that we have put in place in all of our operating properties at City Lodge Hotel Group, for the safety and reassurance of staff and guests, will be continued.
The COVID-19 protocol includes but is not limited to:
Screening of guests on arrival has become necessary in accordance with the national state of disaster pronounced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020. Therefore, in order to prevent an infected person from checking into the hotel guests will be required to:
- complete and sign a questionnaire
- allow their temperature to be scanned with a thermal scanner
If a guest’s temperature falls within the normal range and they do not show any symptoms they will be required to sanitise their hands and proceed to check-in.
If a guest’s temperature is high and/or they have symptoms of the virus they will be disallowed to check-in and will be referred to a medical facility
Educating staff (ongoing) on what the virus is; where the disease outbreak began; ways in which it is transmitted; symptoms to look out for; and daily measures to prevent contamination and spread of viruses in personal, operational and guest spaces.
Staff hand sanitisers (alcohol based) have been rolled out in back of house areas (such as kitchen, office, laundry, staff restaurant and bathrooms) as well as front of house guest areas (such as reception desk, bar, restaurant, lounge, fitness room, boardroom and meeting room).
Guest hand sanitisers (alcohol based) are placed in easy reach of guests in public areas of the hotel with a notice encouraging regular use.
Personal hygiene is being reiterated, including the importance of washing hands frequently and thoroughly; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; practicing respiratory hygiene (sneezing and coughing into a tissue that is safely discarded or the crook of the elbow), and avoiding touching one’s face;
Regular routine cleaning of public areas such as restrooms, breakfast rooms, restaurants, table tops, counters, hand rails, door knobs, back office surfaces and front desk surfaces are wiped down on a regular routine throughout the day, with a polycide chemical (a disinfectant cleaner) that kills most viruses;
In addition to regular routine cleaning, we have implemented the wiping down of all surfaces with a chemical disinfectant called Surface Defense Standard Treatment, which has a lifespan of 90 days once it has been applied. It is being applied to surfaces as a sealant prior to the daily regular routine cleaning that is taking place, which includes: door handles of restrooms and guest rooms, restaurant table tops, bar counters, boardroom tables, hand rails on stairwells, buttons of lifts, speed point machines, front desk counters and entrance door handles.
Sanitisers for security officers at our hotel entrances have also been issued to ensure hygiene for themselves as well as all our arriving guests.
Protective wear such as protective gloves (and face masks as required) are issued to housekeeping and public area Guest Service Attendants when on duty and cleaning equipment with a polycide chemical (disinfectant cleaner) between guest and rest rooms.
Facemasks are not a standard and we are following the advice of Discovery Health, the CDC, WHO, NICD and other health industry advisors which is: The global recommendations are for face masks to be worn only by those who have potential or confirmed cases of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. Facemasks do not seem to prevent the contraction of the illness, though definitely mitigate the spread from individuals who are ill.
Avoiding close contact with anyone who is coughing, sneezing and feverish. Anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness to be reported to the hotel’s general manager for further action to take place, such as contacting the NICD hotline.
Breakfast serving standards have been reviewed to replace the usual buffet with a la carte breakfast options presented to guests to avoid any instances of buffet contamination during this high alert period.
The NICD Hotline is available to all staff and guests. In the event that anyone feels ill after travelling from countries with coronavirus, the South African Department of Health advises first phoning the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) helpline rather than going straight to a medical facility, to prevent potential contamination. The NICD hotline number is 080 002 9999.
While no one can predict the path of this virus, we are continuously monitoring developments and doing all we can to reduce the risk of potential contamination or spread of disease. We thank you for choosing to stay at a City Lodge Hotel Group property and look forward to delivering on our service excellence promise.
26 March 2020