WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), on easing face covering and physical distancing requirements for hotel employees in response to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance.
“In response to increasing vaccination rates across the country and of our workforce, and consistent with CDC and OSHA guidance, the hotel industry supports vaccinated employees being given the choice whether to continue wearing face coverings, in accordance with state and local laws. This change in policy for vaccinated employees is a result of our industry’s ongoing commitment to encourage vaccinations and a recognition of all employees who have received a vaccine.
“Additionally, we ask that all guests and employees, vaccinated or not, respect and honor these revised guidelines. AHLA previously announced that fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings or practice physical distancing, in accordance with CDC guidance.
“Unvaccinated employees and guests should continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing at all times in common areas of the hotel facility. It is also important to note that employees and guests, including those who are vaccinated, are welcome to wear a face covering if that is their personal preference.
“Above all, employee and guest safety remain our top priority. Throughout the pandemic, hotels have met the challenge of the public health crisis through Safe Stay, an industry-wide set of health and safety protocols. Safe Stay will continue to evolve to align with the current environment and CDC and OSHA guidelines to keep travelers and hotel employees safe.
“Moving forward, the hotel industry’s health and safety protocols will continue to include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols as well as innovative contactless technologies to support safe travel while improving the experience for guests and hotel employees. As we reach a turning point in the pandemic, our industry continues to encourage all individuals to get vaccinated as we unite to fully recover and return to a sense of normalcy.”