GM, Mehdi Hanayen, outlines the infection-fighting procedures in place at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.
Our hotel is currently operating as normal. We are closely monitoring the situation and liaising with local authorities to ensure the safety and security of our guests and teams. Accor, the management company’s, first priority is the security of its guests and team members.
At the time of check-in, employees need to make sure guests are wearing masks and gloves and use hand sanitisers. Social distancing must be applied across the entire hotel, including the beach.
I am pleased to share our new operational standards being implemented at Sofitel Bahrain and at Accor properties across the Middle East and Africa, in partnership with hygiene solutions specialist Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections and certification. Furthermore, a global partnership has been forged with global insurance giant AXA to provide guests with free medical support that includes consultations with medical professionals by phone or at the location where they are staying.
At each touchpoint along the guest journey through Sofitel Bahrain, extensive protective measures are being taken:
• Hands-on training for all employees, a dedicated on-property rollout committee and a formal audit programme, validated under the global (Accor) ALLSAFE Cleanliness label, ensure initial and continued compliance.
• The appointment of specially trained ‘ALL Safe Officers’ to oversee all cleaning-related hotel operations, preventative measures and to handle guest enquiries.
• Free health support with AXA (starting from July 2020), including access to medical professionals and consultations by phone or at the location.
• Social distancing protocols and distancing stanchion chords in place.
• Masks and gloves provided to guests and worn by all employees.
• Assisted contactless check-in and check-out.
• Virtual restaurant and in-room dining menus.
In preparation for the re-opening of our restaurants and spa, we have already prepared the following Standard Operating Procedures that will be followed strictly, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health’s official protocols:
• Social distancing standards for employees in communal staff areas (such as pantry).
• Provide staff with a list and talking points on how to handle guest inquiries regarding sanitation, new policies, etc.
• Identify the protocol for employees to follow if they or a guest become ill or present signs of illness.
• Determine how social distancing requirements will be monitored and the process for managing guests who do not follow the requirements.
• Determine how capacity restrictions will be monitored and who will be responsible for this.
• Educate staff about updated sanitation practices and policies, including handling guest inquiries about those practices and policies such as:
- Distinction between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitation.
- Measures for protecting themselves, including:
• Effective hand washing practices.
• Proper personal protective equipment use, including accepted face mask types.
• Updated treatment protocols.
• No-touch greeting policies.
Proper use of disinfectants and other issues including:
• Establish staff areas of responsibility for cleaning and sanitation.
• Attendants must develop sanitation schedule corresponding to areas of responsibility.
• Provide proper hygiene stations for employees and moisturisers for their comfort to eliminate dry, chapped hands.
• Establish wellness and sanitation ‘check-in’ procedure at start of shifts, including temperature check if applicable.
In terms of staff training, our hotel has been issued with instructions on how to implement additional hygiene procedures including cleaning and disinfection; and how to identify and manage any suspected cases. Rigorous hygiene is one of the best ways to avoid the spread of such viruses. We are in close communication with our travel partners and agents to provide up-to-date guidance on this situation as it evolves.