The group – which has 11 properties north of the Border, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness, and 500 staff – said its Stay Safe, Stay Happy five-point plan outlines the enhanced measures it is undertaking to ensure the safety of guests, employees and across each of the communities where they operate, in response to pandemic restrictions.
Jason Carruthers, MD of Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, told The Scotsman that the group is reopening its hotels in England on 4 July, and Ireland on 20 July, and at a date to be confirmed in Scotland, following government guidelines. The MD noted that the latter could be as late as August, but he hopes it is sooner.
“We’re ready to open those hotels as soon as we possibly can, and we believe that there’s great demand from domestic tourism to come into Scotland,” he said, also noting that summer marks the highest period of occupancy. He also expects to see Edinburgh – where the group has four hotels – to “continue to be a very, very popular city”.
Carruthers also said the Stay Safe, Stay Happy plan has been compiled to provide guests with the confidence and assurance to return to the group’s hotels. The group said that in developing the detailed plan, it worked with the Environmental Health Organisation, as well as implementing the guidance issued by the World Health Organisation “to ensure health and safety measures are in line with the highest possible standards”.
It added that the new measures will be “rigorously” applied across the group’s 48 hotels and corporate offices in the UK and Ireland. The five-point plan includes hygiene measures such as using Ecolab disinfectant products the group said are proven to be effective against Covid-19, sanitising stations in key areas such as lobbies, receptions, lifts and back of house, and increased cleaning of frequently touched items and surfaces in bedrooms, and minimum printed material.
Physical distancing will be practiced in each hotel by encouraging a two-metre gap between guests, with floor markings in every reception, and protective screens at all reception desks. Lifts should only be used by one person or guests known to each other.
The group’s hotels will also all be cashless, and operate a reduced food and drink offering, for example, breakfast will be a continental option delivered to the room. All staff are to be given extensive additional training.
Carruthers believes there is “real appetite” for people to return to hotels. As for the group’s expansion plans, he said it has been very “aggressive” with acquisitions plus new builds and developments in the last 18 months. “We are very clear on the sorts of locations where we’d like more properties and Scotland is very much part of our plans,” he said, highlighting the aim to launch lifestyle brand Nyx in Edinburgh at some stage.
“As and when we get back to normality, we’ll be revisiting all of those plans.
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