COVID-19 Respiratory Infection due to novel CORONAVIRUS SARS-COV-2
strain – Guidance for hotels and other travelers’ accommodation facilities
SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in the area of Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has
since spread in many countries around the world. It is a new strain of coronavirus that had
never, until then, been identified in humans. It causes a respiratory infection called COVID19.
How is the virus transmitted?
The virus is transmitted from human to human mostly through respiratory droplets from
sneezing, coughing, or talking. It can also be transmitted through recently contaminated
surfaces if measures of hand hygiene are not used.
When is a case considered more contagious?
A case is considered more contagious if the patient develops symptoms; however, a patient
can potentially transmit the infection even 1-4 days before developing symptoms himself.
The main period of transmission is during the symptomatic phase. A case is considered as
non-contagious 24 hours after symptoms subside.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
The main symptoms of the disease are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Some people may also
develop a sore throat, joint/ muscle pain, and nasal congestion. Symptoms are usually mild
and approximately 80% of patients recover without the need for treatment.
Which patients are considered to be more at risk of developing a severe condition?
Some patients develop dyspnea (difficulty breathing) and possibly, pneumonia that has to be
treated in the hospital. People in high-risk groups (e.g. elders, patients with heart conditions,
diabetes mellitus, liver, or lung conditions) are more likely to develop severe symptoms of the disease.
What is the definition of close contact with a COVID-19 case within hotel premises?
Sharing the same room with a confirmed case of COVID-19
Having direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (e.g. handshake)
Having been face-to-face or in the same closed space with a confirmed case of
COVID-19 at a distance less than 2 meters and for at least 15 minutes.
Having unprotected contact with contagious secretions of a confirmed case (e.g.
Do hotel employees need to wear a mask?
You should use a mask in the following cases:
If you have symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, sneezing, runny nose), in order
to limit the risk of transmission.
If you are caring for escorting other persons with symptoms of respiratory infection,
to protect yourself against the infection.
Other than that, generalized use of masks in working environments is not advised.
When should hotel employees refrain from work?
Hotel employees are advised to refrain from work if:
They have symptoms of respiratory infection
If they have come in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and for 14
days after that.
What procedure is to be followed in case a hotel customer needs to self-isolate in his
room (quarantine at the hotel for 1-14 days) after having close contact with a
confirmed case of COVID-19?
The isolated guest is advised to have his meals inside his room and refrain from
using the hotel’s common areas
Hotel personnel must refrain from entering the room unless there is a serious
When entering the room, personnel is advised to use a standard surgical mask as
well as gloves
When leaving the room, any used gloves and masks must be disposed of; hand
hygiene must follow
Care should be taken so that the number of staff coming in contact with the
quarantined guest will be limited to the minimum possible
General measures for prevention of infection transmission
All hotel areas must be well ventilated while access to running water and soap must
be available to allow for good hygiene practice.
advised to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If your hands are not
dirty, you may use a disinfectant instead (e.g. 70 % alcohol solution). The use of gloves
should not replace hand washing.
o covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
o avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes with your hands to prevent bacterially
Handling a suspected case of COVID-19
If a guest meets the criteria of the COVID-19 case definition, (see NPHO’s website for
case definition) the procedure below must be followed:
The hotel’s health official must contact NPHO IMMEDIATELY at 210 5212054 or 1135
hotline ( 24/7) to declare the suspected case and receive guidance on how to handle the
The patient is advised to remain in his room and keep the door shut.
If the patient shows symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, sneezing, runny nose),
he must be provided immediately with a mask and tissues.
If the patient was accompanied by another individual who still wishes to remain with
him to take care of him (e.g. spouse), then this person must also be given a standard
surgical mask and must practice hand hygiene at all times when coming in contact
with the patient’s secretions (e.g. saliva) and, most importantly, before touching their
face or before eating or drinking.
Personnel must be advised to avoid entering the patient’s room unless there is a
serious reason. If need arises, we suggest that only one member of the hotel staff be
responsible for the suspected case. This way, the number of employees exposed to
infection may be reduced to a minimum.
Any used protective equipment (standard surgical mask, gloves) must be disposed of
in a bin and must in no case be used again.
After disposing of the protective equipment, you should wash your hands thoroughly
with water and soap. Please note that using gloves does not replace hand washing,
which is the most important measure of protection.
Care should be taken by hotel management for an accessible and adequate amount of
supplies to be used for infection prevention:
soap and water or hand disinfectant
standard surgical masks
Finally, to safeguard public health, the hotel management must keep a record of all
members of staff and all persons who stayed at the hotel – name, nationality, check-in and
check-out date, contact information (address, telephone number, e-mail), to allow
communication with all individuals who came in close contact with a later confirmed case of
Information to staff and availability of protective equipment may contribute towards
organized and controlled management of a case of alert. Timely planning and
effective prevention can ensure the health of visitors and staff and maintain smooth
Cooperation with NPHO and other Public Health bodies (District Divisions for Public
Health) is important both in establishing measures of prevention as well as in
proceeding with necessary actions and the provision of information if a case of
infection is reported.