Business Travel News 7/21/2020
Both Hyatt Hotels Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group will require guests to wear face coverings within indoor public areas of its U.S. and Canadian hotels beginning July 27, Hyatt announced in a statement Tuesday and an IHG spokesperson told BTN. The move comes one day after Marriott International introduced the same policy for its hotels globally. All three companies cited the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Safe Stay guest checklist recommendations, which were released last week.
Hyatt specified that the requirement would include meeting and event spaces, restaurants and bars, and fitness centers. "Some guests may be exempt from this mandate, including but not limited to people with medical conditions, consuming food or beverages in restaurants, and children under the age of two years," according to the hotel company.
Any Hyatt guest not wearing a face covering indoors will be asked to wear one. Face masks will be made available to guests who do not have one. As part of its cleanliness initiative, Hyatt already requires all staff to wear face covering at its hotels globally. IHG did not indicate what the consequences of not wearing a mask would be for guests.
"This new policy comes at a pivotal time amidst the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 and helps us care for the health and safety of our guests and colleagues," said Hyatt president and CEO Mark Hoplamazian in a statement. "In an effort to enable safe travel, we support AHLA's recently expanded Safe Stay initiative and traveler checklist that help us come together as an industry to promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing throughout the hotel."
Hilton Worldwide confirmed that it too would introduce a face mask policy for guests, but did not provide further details. Loews Hotels already requires face masks for guests.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in a statement to BTN said it is "currently evaluating our policies and procedures" regarding masks and "fully" supports "AHLA's call for standardizing the use of face coverings across all 50 states."
Of the other hotel companies in support of AHLA's guest checklist, Radisson Hotel Group declined to comment.
U.S. airlines are continuing to beef up their requirements for passenger facial coverings, particularly among those claiming exemptions for medical reasons.
The carrier's high-efficiency particulate air filtration system recirculates air in the cabin every 2-3 minutes and removes 99.97 percent of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria.