City Lodge Hotel Group explains what it takes to be a quarantine hotel
Five of the City Lodge Hotel Group hotels have remained open to accommodate inbound and outbound travellers in quarantine, as well as essential workers.
These include City Lodge Hotel V&A Waterfront and City Lodge Hotel GrandWest in Cape Town, City Lodge Hotel Umhlanga Ridge in Durban, and City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport and City Lodge Hotel Bryanston in Johannesburg.
The hotel revealed that the guests being accommodated include international travellers waiting for flights home, South Africans who need to be isolated for 14 days when they return home from another destination, and essential services personnel.
The hotel does not allow initial access to anyone who has either tested positive for Covid-19 or who is displaying symptoms. If anyone who is in isolation at the hotel display symptoms, they will be tested. If found to be positive, they will be relocated and the room deep-cleaned under the supervision of the Department of Health. Staff and guests are screened daily for elevated temperatures and other symptoms.
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer of City Lodge Hotel Group, sheds some light on being a quarantine hotel.
“The group implements strict Covid-19 cleaning and operating protocols at all of its hotels. Hotels currently operating practise an even stricter regimen of guest and staff control, as determined by the Department of Health and experts in the field, and taking into account more known about the coronavirus and how it is spread.
“When applying to become a quarantine hotel, the group submits its terms and conditions to the Department of Health, which, in turn, sends inspectors to inspect the hotels to ensure that they comply with all of its regulations. The Department of Health appoints resident nurses at the hotels and has doctors who visit on a specific schedule, as well as a member of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) in-house to ensure strict compliance to the rules of quarantine and lockdown. The Departments of Public Works and Tourism and provincial bodies dealing in disaster management are also involved,” said Sangweni-Siddo.
Sangweni-Siddo said that they are doing their best to ensure that guest expectations are met.
“Treating people with dignity and respect, as guests first and foremost, makes all the difference to their stay. These are people away from homes and families, having to practise social-distancing in their room, in uncertain times. It is really touching to see how our staff have stepped up. Simple things like singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to guests to mark their birthday in quarantine goes a long way. We have received many letters of thanks and appreciation from our guests,” she said.
In terms of food offerings, City Lodge Hotel Group has hired an experienced and capable food management and service provider to ensure that dietary and nutritional requirements are met.
Andrew Widegger, chief executive officer of City Lodge Hotel Group, said the group remains available 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.