Since the start of the pandemic, AHLA has been supporting the hotel industry with initiatives and guidelines to help hotels weather the storm. 


Most recently, AHLA launched the “Safe Stay” initiative for enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning standards. On Monday, the Safe Stay Guidelines were released for hotels to prepare for a surge in travel.

Many states are beginning to reopen, and travel demand is expected to rise in the coming months. However, travelers will be wary when choosing a hotel to stay at because they want reassurance that their health and safety is secure.

“This new initiative is focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions,

and workplace protocols, while ensuring transparency throughout the guest journey,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA.

Below is a summary of the guidelines presented by AHLA.

For employees and guests

  • Washing hands and hand sanitizer: all hotel employees will engage in frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers will include no less than 60% alcohol content. Dispensers will be at key guest and employee entrances.
  • Front of the house signage: While the CDC recommends masks, signs will be posted throughout the lobby as health and hygiene reminders.
  • Back of the house signage: Signage will also be in employee break rooms and other areas of entry and exit that employees frequent.
  • Employee guest and health concerns: Reporting to local health officials of any presumed cases of COVID-19 will be a staff-wide requirement. Employees exhibiting symptoms will remain home. Hotels will follow the CDC guidelines for employers and businesses. There will also be temperature checks where required by law.


Employee responsibilities

  • Hand cleaning: Unless wearing gloves, employees must follow the CDC guidelines for handwashing. The guidelines include washing your hands for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer if a sink is unavailable.
  • COVID-19 training: All employees will receive COVID-19 safety and facility sanitation protocols training, recommended by the CDC. 
  • Personal protective equipment: Employees will wear appropriate PPE. PPE and training for use and disposal will be available to any employees upon request.


Cleaning products and protocols

EPA-approved disinfectants that meet CDC requirements will be included in cleaning products and protocols. Areas of cleaning and disinfecting include public spaces and communal areas, guest rooms, hotel guest elevators, back of the house, and shared equipment.

Laundry, including linens, towels, and bedding will be washed in accordance with CDC guidelines.


Traditional room service will be replaced with the no-contact delivery method. Buffet service should be limited, but when offered, servers should be wearing PPE.

Physical distancing

As recommended by the CDC, guests should practice the six feet of distance rule with people that they are not traveling. Areas will be clearly marked for appropriate social distancing. During a stay, housekeeping will not enter a guest room unless specifically requested or approved by the guest. For pools and beaches, seating will allow six feet of distance. When possible, contactless check-in is encouraged.

For the full list of guidelines, download the enhanced list by AHLA here