Travel SOS: Will quarantine hotels ever be safe again?

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Hugh is thinking about travel but is nervous about hotel stays in former quarantine hotels.


Q. Hugh
My wife and I were frequent travellers before the pandemic hit and we are really starting to miss our trips overseas. We were thinking about all of the hotels that are being used for quarantine purposes and were wondering if these venues will ever be safe again?

A. Your trepidation about staying at a former quarantine hotel is understandable, but if these hotels were opening themselves up to being permanently infected, they would never have allowed governments to use their sites for this purpose.

It is important to remember that these quarantine hotels have some of the strictest cleaning protocols anywhere in the world, outside hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Hotels around the world have also instituted a number of practices to ensure there is no possibility of COVID-19 living in murky areas of the hotel.

All common areas and public touch points are frequently and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to the most stringent standards, paying special attention to high touch-point areas such as door handles, switches, counters, etc.

These quarantine hotels also clean and disinfect all public areas and facilities hourly.

Also, the public hotel facilities such as the gym and swimming pool are off limits to guests in hotel quarantine and they are also unable to access the restaurant areas, meaning these places should stay infection free.

Setting aside the strict cleaning protocols of quarantine hotels, it is important to remember that the coronavirus will not live on a surface forever.

Scientists are still unsure of exactly how long the coronavirus will survive on different surfaces, but the prevailing wisdom is that it won’t survive for longer than 11 days.

If a hotel has been used exclusively for quarantine purposes, as is the case with many hotels in Australia, they will probably not be back open to the public for at least 14 days, which means even if the virus is in a spot untouched by cleaners, it is likely that it won’t have survived by the time is reopened to guests.

How will you feel about staying in a former quarantine hotel? Are you still nervous about returning to travel?

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Written by Ben


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