Cresta Hotels will re-open two of its five Zimbabwean properties on Monday, all five having been closed since the start of the national lockdown.
By Chipo Mandela
The two hotels resuming operations will be Cresta Oasis Hotel and Apartments in Harare and Cresta Churchill Hotel in Bulawayo.
The decision to re-open has been based on an evaluation of the ongoing lockdown as it passes through its various stages, and with the assurance to our guests that operations can be conducted in safe, hygienic and suitable conditions, thus safeguarding customers and staff alike. The other hotels will be opened in a phased approach.
Cresta Hotels complies with WHO guidelines for accommodation providers. This ensures that the management team, in consultation with the local health authorities and tourism administration, implements an action plan tailored to the situation with the aim of preventing cases of Covid-19, effectively managing cases and mitigating their impact.
In line with the action plan, each staff member must strictly comply with the basic protective measures against Covid-19 recommended by the WHO, such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, avoiding touching f eyes, nose and mouth, practising respiratory hygiene, as well as staying home and seeking medical attention if they have symptoms consistent with the disease.
All staff will be tested by the CareNet Health Facility before going back to work, all bedrooms and public areas will be thoroughly and regularly disinfected and sanitised and a doctor will be on call for any guest or member of staff concerned about a health situation. Staff who have been tested and resume duties will be accommodated in the hotel to avoid risk through the use of public transport.
Sanitising tunnels will be provided at the guest and staff entrances for cleansing hands, temperature checks, and application of body sanitisation spray. Perspex screens will be placed at receptions, and contactless check-in and check-out methods will be used. In accordance with regulations, staff members will wear face masks at all times and will be given fresh air breaks to eliminate the negative effects of this.
Used linen will be collected by staff wearing protective suits for delivery to laundry. Additional hand sanitiser will be placed at other high traffic areas, while high-touch zones in public areas will be disinfected once every 30 minutes, including door handles, countertops, chair backs, table-tops, and door handles. In all bedrooms guest supplies will now include hand sanitiser and face masks. Hotel gyms and swimming pools will remain closed for the time being. Guest meals will be served as room service or packed from breakfast and room service menus. Social distancing of up to two metres will be implemented for delegates in our conference rooms, and state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities will be available.
We remain committed to adhering to stringent policies and educating our guests on best practices. Our main objective is to ensure the safety of our staff and guests while delivering service with a smile.
We thank all customers, staff and other stakeholders for their continued support and look forward to welcoming them at Cresta Churchill and Cresta Oasis.
Chipo Mandela is the managing director of the Cresta Hotels group in Zimbabwe