During these difficult days, while our doors across the country have been closed, our thoughts have been with our employees, our communities, and with our guests. Whether it be the virus itself or the consequences of the virus on the workforce and the economy, the impacts have been deeply by everyone.
Public health experts tell us that it will take some time for life to return to a sense of normalcy. We cannot stop enjoying life until then. What we can do, is take what we know now about the virus and give people the tools they need to be safe and responsible and create environments designed to curb its spread. Preparing for the moment when we can re-open our doors, The HHI Bengaluru team has been working with medical experts to develop a plan that will allow us to safely welcome you back. Our “Seven-Point Safety Plan,” puts your health and safety at the centre of all we do. It is a comprehensive, multi-layered approach resulting from months of consultations and guidance from public health experts. It addresses everything from employee screening, masks, cleaning, sanitising, and air quality, that put you in control of your check-in experience and stay with us.
1. SCREENING, TEMPERATURE CHECKS, AND EMPLOYEE TRAINING
We have implemented employee-screening measures to assess the signs and symptoms of infection and the possibility of recent exposure to someone infected with the virus. Employees currently and will continue to go through temperature checks before entering a property. Employees are also asked to answer a series of screening questions about current symptoms and recent exposure to COVID-19-infected individuals. Employees that are not well or who reside with an infected individual will not be allowed to work on the property.
We ask that guests abide by a similar self-screening protocol prior to arriving and during your stay. If you have reason to believe you may have been exposed to the virus, we strongly urge you to follow CDC guidelines for self-quarantine and not travel to our properties. We will look forward to welcoming you once the self-quarantine period is complete.
2. MANDATORY MASK, GLOVES
Employees will be provided and required to wear an approved mask when in public or shared spaces. The HHI Bengaluru will also require our guests to wear masks in public spaces. Masks will be provided if needed. Gloves will continue to be worn by employees who require them to do their jobs, such as food handlers and employees who clean public areas. Additional categories of employees required to wear PPE and other protective equipment will be identified by our medical experts.
The swimming Pool & Jacuzzi will remain closed according to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (India) and State and local directives.
3. PHYSICAL DISTANCING
A 6-foot physical distancing policy will be in place, with floor guides serving as reminders throughout our properties. From time-to-time, 6- foot distancing will be challenging—in those cases, reasonable mitigating protocols will be implemented, such as plexiglass barriers or face shields for our employees. Plexiglass barriers may be installed in areas throughout the cafe and Restaurant - where appropriate, for the safety of our guests and employees. Signage will be installed throughout our properties to help guide employees and guests on how to safely practice physical distancing.
4. HAND-WASHING AND ENHANCED SANITISATION
Following the guidelines, we have already increased the amount of routine cleaning, with a focus on high-touch surfaces in common areas. We will continue using proven cleaning products in accordance with health & safety guidelines for coronaviruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens. Electrostatic sprayers will be used in many of our large areas to allow us to apply disinfectant more efficiently.
Custom-built hand-washing stations, with soap and water, and hand sanitising stations will be readily available with a visible presence maintained throughout the property. Signage will be installed throughout the properties to guide and remind employees and guests of the importance of proper hand-washing protocols. We also have detailed sanitation protocols for our guest rooms.
5. HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC) CONTROLS AND AIR QUALITY
We have always placed a high priority on air quality for our guests and have reviewed the operation of our HVAC systems to identify additional opportunities to enhance their effectiveness. Rigorous measures in accordance with the established guidelines to help mitigate the risk of virus transmission have been taken throughout our properties. As scientific information becomes available about the virus, and as additional guidance from state and local authorities and our medical experts evolve, we will continue to review and adjust the operation of our HVAC systems, fully recognising the important role they have in keeping employees and guests healthy and safe.
6. INCIDENT RESPONSE PROTOCOLS
We have many protocols in place that are aimed at reducing the chance the infection will spread on our properties. In the unfortunate event a guest or employee tests positive for the virus, we will activate incident response protocols to provide the infected individual with access to medical treatment, thoroughly disinfect exposed areas and, when possible, notify those who may have come in close, prolonged contact with the infected individual. The HHI Bengaluru has medical and security personnel on staff to respond quickly in the event of an incident.
Upon notification of a suspected COVID case involving a hotel guest, Security immediately secures the guest-room so that no one can enter until medical professionals, or the local health department confirms a Coronavirus risk. If confirmed, Security will notify hotel operations leadership, who will then coordinate a contracted cleaning team to respond and deep clean the guest-room per established protocols. No person shall enter the guest-room until the contracted team arrives, absent emergency. Once the cleaning vendor has completed treatment of the room, the room remains out of service for 48 hours. After the 48-hour period, our Housekeeping teams complete an additional deep clean of the room/suite. Only after a thorough inspection will the room be released and put back into service.
7. DIGITAL INNOVATION
We are reimagining several aspects of the guest experience through technology to transition current processes into contactless options for guests. The most convenient, contactless way to check in is as easy as reaching for your phone. The HHI Bengaluru is in the process to introduce the arrival experience into the hands of our customers, enabling them to complete the check-in process themselves, from beginning to end. Guests will no longer need to wait in line if they so choose. Guests can confirm their arrival time, add payments and verify their ID all before setting foot in the lobby. Once a room has been assigned and is ready for check-in, guests receive a notification and can access their room. All Room Key are UV sanitised before handing over to guests. If guests prefer they can use the UV Sanitisation box to sanitise their belongings while enjoying their welcome drink. Alternatively, for guests without smartphones or who prefer to not use one, they can complete the check-in process with the support of our employees in a contactless, line-reduced environment designed with our customers in mind.