How OYO is re-introducing the hospitality industry during a pandemic

There is still a worldwide pandemic, but Malaysia is slowly easing into a more lenient MCO. New cases for COVID-19 dropped to 38 yesterday and there are no deaths recorded in 10 days. As people slowly start to re-emerge from their homes, OYO is rolling out ‘Sanitised Stays’ for their hotels and homes.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry is facing a new normal in the way we operate. As a brand committed to offering safe accommodation options, OYO is proactively leading the change in housekeeping and cleanliness protocols within the hospitality industry, across all OYO properties. In this industry, maintaining the trust and confidence of guests is key—and this is reflected in the guest-first approach OYO is taking through our new protocols, in order to provide reassurance and peace of mind to guests,” said Tan Ming Luk, Country Head of OYO Hotels & Homes.

OYO will be implementing hygiene protocols and step up measures for pre and post-check-ins. They will also aim to “curb any potential spread of COVID-19”.

OYO’s new ‘protocols’

  • Check-in and check-out: Requiring guests to upload their IDs and complete their formalities at the hotel with minimal staff interaction.
  • Minimal contact service: Will introduce minimal contact room service and will train the housekeeping staff on the same.
  • ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag: All OYO properties enrolled in the program will have the ‘Sanitised Stays’ logo displayed on the OYO App (iOS, Android) and their Hotel Booking Platform. Hotels will go through regular checks for compliance. Properties that have cleared the audit will display the ‘Sanitised Stays’ tag on the booking page. An audit based on reviews from guests will also be conducted on the properties regularly.
  • Reminder signs: Signs will be placed in locations with higher foot traffic such as the hotel reception and lobby, in lifts and lift lobbies, and in restaurants. There will also be reminders on proper hand-washing techniques in all toilets.
  • Hand-cleaning: Hand sanitisers with at least 60% alcohol content will be placed in common areas such as the reception and lobby, for all guests and staff to use.

New SOPs for OYO on-ground teams

  • Temperature checks and symptoms for guests as well as employees. Guests, Vendors and contractors will be required to complete a travel and health declaration.
  • Proper disinfection of the space frequently with the placement of hand sanitisers at the reception and the increased need to wear safety equipment at all times
  • Encourage in-room dining and avoid all public areas
  • Distance markers painted on floors to highlight the correct physical distance
  • Guests will be requested to handle their own luggage as far as possible (unless the guest is a senior citizen or differently abled). All luggage will also be sanitised.
  • Policies for dealing with outside suppliers and contractors complying with health advisories and government regulations
  • Property management to oversee the property’s housekeeping practices
  • Public spaces will be cleaned frequently using disinfectant products that have been pre-approved by the Ministry of Health. Extra focus will be given to frequently touched areas such as tables in the lobby, the reception desks, lift buttons, door handles, room key cards, water dispensers and so on. Hard surfaces will be cleaned with warm water and detergent, followed by the disinfectant solution.
  • All items for laundry will be thoroughly washed at the hottest appropriate setting and fully dried, while all equipment used to transport and handle laundry will be thoroughly cleaned and sterilised.

If guests exhibit signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 like a fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache and sore throat, the hotel management and staff have the right to decline guests. The Ministry of Health’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) will also be contacted.

With these new protocols places at OYO hotels and homes, I hope they are the start of the re-growth of the hospitality industry. While it might still be too early to book your next trip, may this piece of news give you a bit of hope for your future hotel stay.

Dzamira Dzafri