Muscat: As per the newly-announced decision by the Supreme Committee tasked with dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, updated rules have been instated to further prevent the spread of the virus.
While public parks and beaches will remain shut across the Sultanate, it is known that restaurants, hotels, gyms, and other establishments can continue to operate at reduced capacities (50 per cent) and with complete adherence to the new protocols.
These protocols have been elucidated in a statement issued by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism today [February 11].
Restaurants and Cafes
• Buffets are permitted while adhering to the prevention measures.
• Conduct temperature checks on all diners.
• Ensure spacing between dining tables and chairs in accordance with the standards issued by the competent authorities.
• Adopt the advice and instructions issued by international companies specialized in sterilization methods and chemicals necessary to ensure safety in hotel rooms, public spaces, and restaurants.
• Restaurant workers observance of wearing gloves, changing them from time to time, and keeping handwashing with soap and water.
• Digital payment at the customer’s table is preferable to reduce crowding at the cashier area.
• Control the number of diners by allowing advance reservations to avoid crowds.
Meeting and Event Rooms
• Party and conference rooms must operate at 50 per cent capacity while adhering to the prevention measures.
• Meeting rooms are permitted to be used while adhering to physical distancing.
• Provide hand sanitizers at meeting tables.
• Ventilate meeting rooms constantly.
• Avoid providing pens and paper items during meetings except upon request from guests, to be used only once and discarded after use.
• Create a record of attendance details and their contact numbers for easy screening.
Recreational Facilities and Gyms
• Ensure that workers and visitors are symptom-free, and check their body temperature before entering these facilities.
• All types of sports and recreational facilities are permitted to be used by guests and visitors of the facility.
• Control the number of pool users to avoid crowding.
• Clean and sterilize lounge chairs surrounding the pool area and locker room cabinets after each use, and rearrange the seats so that a minimum distance of two meters is kept between each seat.
• Juice and water are only allowed to be served in single-use bottles or cups at the beverage service area by the pools.
• Health club facilities such as massage rooms, steam baths, saunas, hot tubs and spas are permitted in accordance with the standards issued by the competent authorities.
• Rearrange exercise machines so that a minimum distance of two meters is kept between each machine, and reduce the number of gym members.
• Provide hand sanitizers, so they can be available for use when entering and before leaving the recreational facilities.
• Avoid group workouts to reduce mixing.
• Personal items such as towels and water bottles are not allowed; towel cabinets shall be sterilized; towels must be kept in closed cabinets and provided to guests upon request, and shall not be shared with others.
• Sanitize gym equipment after each use.
• Limit and control the number of entrances.
• Provide signs containing instructions and illustrations on COVID-19 prevention in the hotel.
• Place directional signs at the main entrance on the sides of the guests’ path, before the check-in procedures.
• Provide facemasks at the main entrance, which are necessary for everyone to wear immediately upon entry to the hotel.
• Provide hand sanitizers in a visible place near the main entrance, so they can be constantly available for use when entering and before leaving the hotel.
• Provide a (digital) thermometer to test the temperature of all employees and guests before entering the hotel.
• Sterilize the baggage of guests when checking in and out of the hotel.
• Sterilize the baggage car before and after use.
• Allow resuming the parking service, with taking the following measures:
– Employees must wear facemasks and gloves, and change it following every single parking, keep the vehicle’s air conditioning on while maintaining the doors open for some time to ensure the vehicle is ventilated before handing-over to the guest.
– Use single-vehicle seat covers.
– Use disinfectant wipes to clean the steering wheel, transmission, and any surfaces contacted in the vehicle.
• Train employees in the hotel’s main entrance area on COVID-19 prevention measures to maintain the safety of visitors and the hotel entry.
• Provide hand sanitizers in the reception area, public corridors and in front of elevators for staff and guests.
• Sterilize point of sale terminals following every use.
• Remove all devices and common items in the reception area as public phones and posters of all kinds.
• Clean the reception table with sterile materials after completing each guest’s procedures.
• Place a glass or plastic screen separating employees from guests at the reception desk to reduce direct contact, or to keep a minimum distance of (two meters) between the receptionist and the guest.
• Place floor signs around the waiting places of the guests to complete the procedures for receiving and delivering the rooms, provided that they are no less than two meters between each sign, or complete the procedures in the guest’s room directly.
• Re-arrange the reception seats so that no less than two meters is allowed between the seats.
• Reduce the allowed number of guests in the elevator, so that it is limited to 4 people for wide elevators (in case of being from one family only) and 2 people for narrow elevators, with placing floor signs for the designated parking spaces of the elevators, and covering the buttons with plastic or insulating material that is constantly replaced with cleaning the elevator with sterile materials continuously.
• Training employees in the reception area on COVID-19 prevention measures to maintain the safety of visitors and the hotel entry.
• Employees must wear masks or transparent face protective masks throughout the course of work.
• Educate and urge employees on the importance of prompt reporting to the line official when any respiratory symptoms or high body temperature appear, whether for them or for one of their colleagues, regardless of the severity of the symptoms.
• In the event that a person is suspected of having COVID-19 in the hotel, immediate measures must be taken, and giving them a medical mask and referring to the nearest health care institution for examination and treatment.
Rooms and toilets
• Remove all posters and paper marketing materials from rooms.
• The rooms must be out-of-order after the departure of the guest for a sufficient period (at least 24 hours) to be treated, sterilized and reviewed by the hotel’s security and safety officials.
• Reduce room items and package to the most important ones (e.g. Pens and remote controls) and renew packaging after each guest.
• Reduce sanitary materials of the toilet according to the number of guests, provided that all materials are destroyed after the departure of each guest.