03 July 2020

Guests at luxury hotels to have temperatures checked on arrival

03 July 2020

Luxury hotels reopening on Saturday will turn away guests if they fail temperature checks as part of efforts to combat coronavirus.

The Langham in central London, Cliveden House in Berkshire and The Bath Priory in Bath are among those which will screen visitors for signs of fever in an attempt to identify anyone with symptoms.

Andrew Stembridge, executive director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, which owns a handful of boutique venues including Cliveden House, said he hopes the checks will be “quite relaxed”.

Arriving guests will be greeted at the car park of their hotel and a member of staff will use a handheld contactless device to take their temperature.

Mr Stembridge told the PA news agency: “We put in our (booking) confirmation ‘If you are above 38C then I’m really sorry we’re going to have to send you home again’.

Knowing that every single person has been temperature checked (gives you) peace of mind

“At least by doing it in the car park, you haven’t got that slightly awkward situation where someone’s already in the building.”

He said he believes guests will be relieved such checks are being carried out.

“It’s one thing going to Waitrose, but if you’re going into an environment where you’re going to be in there for the next three or four days, knowing that every single person has been temperature checked (gives you) peace of mind,” he said.

Mr Stembridge said most of his hotel rooms have been reserved for Saturday night and the rate of bookings is three times higher than normal for this time of year.

“I don’t think every hotel is going to have a great summer,” he added. “I think there’s a great opportunity for those hotels that have lots of space and a location that feels very rural.”

Most UK hotels were closed when the coronavirus lockdown was introduced on March 23, with only those providing accommodation for key workers allowed to continue operating.

Hotels in Northern Ireland and England are permitted to reopen from Friday and Saturday respectively, while those in Wales with en-suite facilities can welcome guests from July 11.

The Scottish Government has set a later date of July 15.

Hilton will reopen the majority of its hotels in England from Saturday, including properties in Brighton, Cambridge, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Staff will not carry out temperature checks, but new safety standards include putting seals on bedroom doors to show no-one has entered rooms after they have been cleaned.

Stephen Cassidy, Hilton’s managing director in the UK and Ireland, acknowledged “expectations will be different” when hotels reopen, with cleanliness and hygiene “more important than ever”.

Premier Inn, which has more than 800 hotels in the UK, is reopening those in England in phases from Saturday.

As part of enhanced hygiene measures, screens will be placed at check-in areas, hand sanitiser stations will be installed in public areas and breakfasts will be served in boxes rather than at restaurants.

Simon Ewins, managing director of Premier Inn, said he wants to reassure guests of the “stringent hygiene standards that exist from check-in to check-out”.

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