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This is how it could look in the hotels if they open again soon in Germany

  • In Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, a tourism task force is currently discussing possible concepts for reopening the hospitality industry.
  • The hotel chain Seetelhotels runs 16 hotels on the island of Usedom and has now presented a hygiene concept that shows how soon guests could be received again despite Corona.
  • Hotelier Rolf Seelige-Steinhoff hopes to be able to reopen these measures by the end of May.

The Task Force Tourism met in Schwerin on Tuesday – sounds like an action film, but it’s politics. The specially created working group consisting of representatives of the state government, gastronomy and tourism industry should develop concepts for how hotels and gastronomy in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania could soon reopen.

Until May 10, the current ban in the northeast will at least apply. However, the task force seems to be moving ahead, and possible easing is already being discussed. A glimmer of hope for the tourism industry in the country? The head of the State Chancellery, Heiko Geue, said on Tuesday: “We agree that we want to see more easing in tourism if the development of the corona numbers allows it.” The NDR reports. An important date is May 5: On this day, the infection numbers of May 4 are to be evaluated in the task force so that the cabinet can make decisions.

Hotel manager Rolf Seelige-Steinhoff shows what opening hotels can look like under corona conditions. The Hotelier of the Year 2015 runs the Seetelshotels chain with a total of 16 hotels on the island of Usedom. For his hotels, Seelige-Steinhoff now presented a new hygiene concept that should make it possible to welcome guests safely, even in times of Corona.

Vacation 2020: disinfectant dispenser, no buffet and protective masks

The concept initially provides for obvious measures such as installing disinfectant dispensers in public areas such as in the entrance area, in the lobby, in the changing rooms, at the elevators, near the toilets, as well as in the restaurants and bars. Hotel guests are asked to wear masks “out of mutual respect for each other,” said Seelige-Steinhoff, because the staff will also have to wear mouthguards.

In addition, there will initially be no breakfast buffet, for example, even after the reopening. Instead, breakfast should be served to guests at their own side table. The same applies to lunch and dinner. The employees receive masks and gloves for protection and are to serve the food beforehand at a distance of two meters. This is to avoid unnecessary contacts at the buffet.

“There are already gigantic hygiene standards in the hotel industry, but we have now further refined them. The well-being of guests and our employees has top priority, ”says Hotelier Seelige-Steinhoff. At the same time, it is clear that “absolute security can never be achieved”.

In all houses, breakfast times are also extended until 12 noon so that fewer people are in the dining area at the same time. As an additional protective measure, the seats in the restaurant area are thinned out and further apart. There are similar plans for lunch and dinner.

Wellness: pools could open, saunas remain closed

The measures were developed with the support of the University of Greifswald, said Seelige-Steinhoff. According to the hotel manager, the scientists suspect that chlorinated water kills the viruses, which is why pools and swimming pools in hotels are likely to remain open. Hotel guests can then use these while maintaining a safety distance. Saunas, on the other hand, remain closed, since there is no minimum distance.

In cooperation with the detergent manufacturer Dr. The chain also quickly developed its own hygiene seal. The hygiene standards were met by Dr. Quickly and repeatedly checked by the Seetelhotels quality management officer. Above all, the seal is intended to strengthen customer trust.

Should there ever be a Corona case in one of his hotels, it would have to be decided individually depending on the severity of the case. If the guest wanted this, he could even spend the necessary 14-day quarantine in his hotel room, and food and drinks could be left in front of the door.

In addition, the hotel staff would maintain a list of contacts to guests internally so that the chain of infection could be tracked in an emergency. By introducing a concierge service in the restaurants, which always puts the guests at the same table, which in turn is always served by the same waiter, the infection chain can also be checked afterwards.

Hotelier hopes to open in late May

“I hope that we can open this catalog of measures again by the end of May,” says the Seetelhotels manager. And: “All of these steps are easy to implement for almost everyone in the hospitality industry, with little effort.” Whether his wish is fulfilled depends on the decisions of politicians. His initiative has already been presented to the Tourism Task Force

Already on April 23, the state government and the tourism industry agreed in a telephone conference on a five-step plan with which tourism in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania should start again.

The state politicians are currently considering initially only allowing tourists from their own state after the restaurant has reopened. “The local holidaymakers only make up five percent of our guests, in which case it would not be worthwhile for us to open, the costs would be too high,” says the hotel owner. If that happened, Seelige-Steinhoff and his team would work out a word-case scenario: If the Seetelhotels were only able to open on July 1 and only to a limited extent, the chain would lose 11.2 million euros in sales. And with high fixed costs. The hotel chain normally makes a turnover of 40 million euros a year.

Nationwide lowest infection rate in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, there had only been a few new infections with the corona virus in the past few days. With around 43 people recently infected per 100,000 inhabitants, the northeast has the lowest infection rate nationwide, the dpa reported.

“It is now up to politics to shake hands and to allow tourism in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again as soon as possible,” says Seelige-Steinhoff. In any case, he is looking forward to welcoming guests to his hotels again soon.

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