Hotel Covid-19 measures could include online check-in and room deep cleans

Hotel rooms will also face regular deep cleans, while hand sanitising stations and face masks for staff are also on the cards when they reopen after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Hotel guests could be checking in and out online as part of the plans to reopen the sector in the coming weeks.

Rooms will also face regular deep cleans, while hand sanitising stations and face masks for staff are also on the cards as hotels grapple to reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels are due to reopen from July 20 and businesses are currently figuring out what changes are needed to ensure staff and guests can be kept safe. 

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) expects to publish agreed operational standards for hotels "early next week". The Dalata Hotel Group, which includes the Clayton and Maldron chains, published its own plans this week.

In a message to customers, Dalata Hotel Group CEO Pat McCann said the company's "keep safe programme and new guest experience" will revamp the hotel experience to protect customers and staff.

People will have the option of checking in online before they arrive. Online check out will be an option too to minimise interaction with staff.

There will be "strict protocols" on lift usage. The room cleaning process will involve sanitising touchpoints and, afterwards, rooms will be "fogged" with the same type of devices used in the pharmaceutical sector and in some hospitals.

Mr McCann said it "deals very effectively with viruses and other air and surface contaminants".

Rooms will have a seal on the door once they have been cleaned and the unbroken seal is a sign the room has been treated, Mr McCann said.

These measures are in addition to hand sanitising points and clearly-marked public areas to ensure social distancing, while hotel staff will wear "nose and mouth masks."

Tim Fenn, IHF CEO, said their priority is the health and safety of staff and guests.

"The Irish Hotels Federation is working closely with Fáilte Ireland to establish agreed operational standards for hotels in line with HSE requirements and international best practice," he said.

The procedures will cover all staff and guest interactions – from the moment a guest arrives at a hotel until they leave, including how we will clean rooms after guests depart, in line with the Government’s roadmap on reopening society and business."

The IHF has urged the government to intervene to aid the struggling hotel market.

Specifically, Mr Fenn urged the government to access EU funds to prop up tourism businesses which shut their doors in March and also to cut VAT and continue the job subsidy scheme for the foreseeable future.