AHLA relaxes mask guidelines for U.S. hotel workers, chains follow suit
The American Hotel & Lodging Association has relaxed its Safe Stay guidelines for wearing masks for employees of U.S. hotels in response to updated Covid-19 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the association announced. AHLA relaxed its masking requirements for guests in May.
“The hospitality industry maintains that vaccinated employees have the option of continuing to wear face coverings, in accordance with state and local laws,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement. “This policy change for vaccinated employees is the result of our industry’s continued commitment to encourage vaccinations and recognition from all employees who have received a vaccine. “
Rogers added that employees and unvaccinated guests should continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing in common areas of hotels.
The update prompted many hotel companies to adjust their staff mask protocols.
Accor currently imposes face coverings on all employees of non-U.S. Hotels and all unvaccinated employees of U.S. hotels in all indoor and outdoor public spaces where physical distancing or barriers are not possible, according to a spokesperson. in an email.
BWH Hotel Group, which includes Best Western, changed its We Care Clean program on June 18 and now gives fully immunized employees the choice to continue wearing face covers while complying with state and local laws, a door said. – company speech in an e-mail. “Unvaccinated employees remain required to wear face coverings in the presence of guests, unless they are unable to wear [them] due to a disability or sincere religious belief, ”added BWH.
Hilton Worldwide will no longer require fully vaccinated employees in the United States to wear face covers, a Hilton spokesperson said in an email. The company is in the process of communicating this update to owners and staff, but the change is effective immediately.
Also effective immediately, fully immunized employees at Hyatt Hotels Corp. in the United States who “voluntarily certify that they have been fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks at work,” a Hyatt spokesperson said in an email. “Hotel colleagues who are not vaccinated are still required to wear face masks indoors and outdoors.”
Fully vaccinated employees of IHG Hotels & Resorts in the United States are no longer required to wear a face cover, but they have the option of continuing to wear one if they wish, a spokesperson for IHG in an email.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has updated its policy to comply with AHLA’s Safe Stay protocols and “As of June 28, fully vaccinated team members will have the option of continuing to wear face coverings, subject to of any more restrictive state or local law, ”a Wyndham spokesperson said in an email.
On May 19, Radisson Hotel Group Americas changed its policy following updated CDC guidelines, prior to the AHLA change, and no longer requires fully vaccinated hotel staff to wear face coverings, a Radisson spokesperson said in an email. “We will recommend that team members continue to wear a mask indoors and in direct contact with guests as a protective measure,” said Radisson.
Choice Hotels and Loews Hotels & Co. were in the process of updating their employee mask protocols, according to company spokespersons, but the updates were not provided in time for publication.
Marriott International did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Guidelines from the AHLA and hotel companies have indicated that state and local laws should prevail if these requirements exceed the updated guidelines. Many states and territories relaxed mask requirements after the CDC informed in May that fully vaccinated people could do without them in most indoor and outdoor environments. Hawaii and Puerto Rico still require indoor masks for everyone, according to the New York Times. The states of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, as well as Washington, DC, require indoor masks for unvaccinated people. Other states have no restrictions on masks.
Hotels and states adapt to changing US mask regulations