HOTELS on the Costa del Sol and all the Costa Blanca will be able to open next week if Spain’s government allows their regions to move into lockdown Phase one on Monday, but restrictions on travel and strict regulations on health and safety could keep guest numbers low.
Malaga and Granada provinces and the areas of the Valencian Community prevented from moving into the first phase at the beginning of this week find out later on Friday if they will be joining other parts of the country with an easing of restrictions on matters like movement and business openings.
Under Phase one hotels and tourist accommodation can open their doors, but so far few have, even in usually popular holiday destinations like the Costa Almeria, the Canary Islands and the Balearics.
To begin with there is the issue of how many people can get to the hotels. The first phase only allows travel for holiday accommodation overnight stays within the borders of a province, island or health district, and there will be no foreign tourists until Spain’s borders reopen and the 14-day quarantine requirement on international travellers, which comes into force today, is lifted.
Then there is the question of what kind of hotel experience guests can expect in the ‘new normal.’
The government has set out health and safety guidelines aimed at protecting staff and guests from Covid-19 infection, which mean hotel stays are going to be very different from what holidaymakers are used to.
Common areas are out of bounds, buffets are not allowed, and bars and restaurants can have just limited outdoor seating.
Pools, spas, gymnasiums, mini-clubs, children’s zones and discos have to stay shut. And even when common areas like pools and gyms are able to reopen, there will be strict social distancing and disinfecting procedures in force.
In addition, establishments must carry out rigorous and frequent cleaning and disinfection.
The Senator chain, which has a presence in locations including the Mar Menor, Roquetas de Mar, Almuñecar and Marbella, is planning to start reopening its hotels once regions move into Phase two of the lockdown.
The company has already opened the doors to some tourist apartment complexes, including in Vera Playa.
Senator said the new safety measures will mean changes like encouraging online check-ins to prevent gatherings of people in reception areas, less complementary toiletries in bathrooms, and a person employed to disinfect sunbeds and keep them spaced apart in pool areas.
Efforts will be made to avoid physical contact at its children’s clubs.
In restaurants people will be served directly or items will be displayed in individual portions. There will also be controls on dining area occupancy and the space between tables.
There will be daily cleans, with particular attention being paid to contact points like door knobs and switches.
Once vacated rooms will be completely disinfected and treated with ozone, and will be left unoccupied for 24 hours.