Once we reopened for business and visitors began to return, the safety of our guests and team members became the highest priority and the standard expectation of hygiene was elevated.
Guided by the BTMI, The Property Management team developed a comprehensive set of hygiene, cleaning and sanitization measures, to reduce transmission of COVID-19, crucial to ensure the tourism sector was positioned to safely re-open.
You might ask what is the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, since they are commonly referred to interchangeably. Here is what you need to know.
- Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces but does not necessarily kill them
- Sanitizing reduces germs on surfaces by removing or killing them
- Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects
In the particularly high-touch sector with numerous opportunities for cross-contamination, more focus was directed towards housekeeping and we built on our already rigorous practices, where hospital-grade cleaning products and upgraded protocols are in use.
A Disinfecting Checklist was designed to ensure compliance. The housekeeper is required to check that each area is cleaned and sanitized and sign as having checked. SOPs were prepared for cleaning each room in the villa, with emphasis on the chemicals that could be safely used, along with the requirements, storage and standards for use.
Staff must change from their street clothes and put on a new uniform, shoes and PPE provided – gloves, mask, face shield, apron, gather all equipment and cleaning solutions and start by turning off the ACs and ventilating the rooms.
Rooms are cleaned and disinfected using the top to bottom method – upper surfaces and fixtures are wiped down using the cleaning agent specific to the materials and finishes. All high-touch surfaces and areas i.e., light switches, remotes, doorknobs, phones, flush buttons, are disinfected.
Linens and towels are carefully removed away from the body and washed and dried at the highest setting, or line-dried in the sun. Garbage cans are also cleaned and disinfected and relined for use and A/C filters are cleaned between bookings. Rugs are vacuumed, floors swept and mopped with the appropriate disinfectant, and the relevant colour-coded mops and buckets depending on the area.
Not all household disinfectants will kill the virus, so be sure to read the label to ensure that they are approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or contain at least 70% alcohol but be careful not to cause damage to certain finishes.
Finally, all cleaning equipment, mop buckets, mops, reusable cloths are cleaned and sanitized and all disposable carefully removed and discarded.
Staff must wash their hands before changing into their street clothes, taking their bagged uniforms with them to be laundered and the property ventilated before locking up.
These procedures are two-fold: to assure guests that our villas are as safe as they possibly can be and to keep our staff protected, thereby reducing community contact.
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