'We're ready to open now': San Francisco Hotel Council reveals new cleaning, safety guidelines

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, August 9, 2020
New safety, cleaning protocols released for SF hotels
The San Francisco Hotel Council released new cleaning and safety guidelines for when the city's hotels can reopen again amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco hotels are gearing up to welcome tourists back to the city by the bay, but only when it's safe. When the city allows it, hotels will be ready with a new set of guidelines for the health and safety of guests and employees.

Delys Boone from Salt Lake City flew to San Francisco just for the day on Saturday. She said Union Square was disappointing.

"Well, it's very empty, it's not what we're used to be the weather's great," said Boone.

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San Francisco's hotel industry is hurting from millions in lost revenue amid impacts of COVID-19.

Delys won't need a hotel, a good thing considering most hotels in the city remain closed to tourists due to the pandemic, except those housing essential workers and some homeless.

Kelly Powers from the Hotel Council of San Francisco says the pandemic has been devastating on the hotel industry. She says the council has developed new clean and safe protocols for guests and employees when doors reopen again. Some of them include:

  • Requiring the use of hand sanitizer and wearing masks.
  • Employees should avoid touching car and taxi doors.
  • All valet services suspended
  • One person or party allowed on elevators
  • Use the stairs when possible
  • Room cleaning should follow Cal/OSHA and CDC guildelines

"We want to reopen our hotels safely, we know that's the quickest path to economic recovery," said Powers.

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Laura Handlery said she is one of the only employees inside the Handlery Hotel these days.

"My great grandfather opened this hotel, it's been passed onto three generations," she said.

The hotel remains closed and about 90 staff members have been furloughed.

"It breaks my heart, some of the housekeepers used to babysit me and my siblings, I miss them, I want them back along with our guests," said Handlery.

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Handlery says her family's hotel will survive.

The biggest question is when can hotels reopen. The mayor's office says as long as San Francisco remains on the state's COVID-19 watch list, all reopening plans are on pause.

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