No iron, no vanity kit, and no spare blanket: Here’s what your next SA hotel visit will be like

Business Insider SA
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  • Hotels have new rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and like other sectors, they are going to need a lot of sanitiser spray and disinfectant.
  • All accommodation providers are now required to disinfect your luggage when you arrive, although only larger ones need special screening stations for guests.
  • Restaurants aren't necessarily closed, but room service is supposed to be encouraged.
  • You may find a lot of stuff missing from rooms, including irons, vanity kits, and spare blankets.
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If you travel in South Africa any time soon (for business, or perhaps even for leisure), larger accommodation establishments will look a little different. More sparse when it comes to extra pillows on the bed, and spare blankets in the cupboard, for instance.

As of this week new coronavirus rules apply to hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, time shares and guest houses, with specific measures on cleaning everything from keycards to door handles.

There will also be strictly a no turndown service.

How many people may be using such establishments is not yet clear, as uncertainty remains on whether South Africans may stay overnight when they travel within their home provinces for leisure. 

See also: Can hotels open for leisure travellers? Depends on who you ask

But the rules apply to all kinds of travellers, and all kinds of accommodation establishments, with only one special set of provisions, on screening arriving guests, reserved for larger hotels and resorts handling 50 or more guests per day.

Here is what your next visit to a hotel, B&B, and guest house in South Africa will be like, under new government regulations.

Early check-in, or checking out late, could be a problem

There must be time for “thorough deep cleaning of rooms between check-out and check-in”, according to the rules. That includes sanitising the sections of walls close to beds or chairs, wiping down curtain edges, and thoroughly cleaning furniture.

All in all, hotels and B&Bs will not be able to turn rooms quickly – and unless they are pretty empty, they may have a hard time honouring early check-in or late check-out.

Your luggage may end up being a little damp

All luggage must be disinfected “before or after off-loading from vehicles”. Employees who handle luggage are also required to wash or sanitise their hands both immediately before and after touching luggage.

You won't find an spare blanket in the cupboard – and you'll have to ask for a shoe cleaning kit and iron if you want them

A lot of soft stuff and "superfluous items" must be removed from rooms, including extra blankets, throws, and cushions.

You'll also have to ask at reception for a vanity kit, shoe cleaning kit, iron, sewing kit, and magazines.

You may also be treated to disposable cups and teaspoons

It isn't required, but "consideration must be given" to using disposable cups, glasses, and teaspoons in rooms. 

Backpacker-style dorms could be become pretty empty

Where "dormitory style bedrooms" are shared between strangers, maximum occupancy must be set at 50% capacity, the rules say, with between four and five square metres minimum spacing between beds.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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