Hotel Industry May Soon Require Face Masks for Guests

Masks on, please.

woman rolling a suitcase in a hotel lobby
Checking in? You'll need a face mask.
Getty Images
By Carl Caminetti / July 22, 2020 8:00 am

Major hotel chains may soon join the growing number of businesses around the country requiring face masks, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Earlier this week, the organization announced hotel brands may begin implementing new mask mandates as early as next week, CNN reported.

While guests will be permitted to unmask outdoors and in the privacy of their own rooms, masks will be required in public spaces throughout hotel properties, part of the AHLA’s “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” of advice for pandemic-era travelers. While individual states vary when it comes to mask enforcement policies, the association hopes to standardize mask mandates in hotels throughout the country.

“Requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces will create an even safer environment for all our guests and employees,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, who also praised state governors already implementing mask-wearing policies.

“We applaud governors who have standardized the use of face coverings in all indoor public spaces, and we urge all lawmakers to help make this a national standard by implementing this requirement in their states,” Rogers said in a press release. “These preventative measures make it safer and easier for Americans to travel while also supporting hotel and tourism employees.”

A number of major U.S. hotel brands including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Loews, Wyndham, Marriott and Radisson have voiced support for the AHLA’s new safety advisories.

“We’re redefining our cleaning and safety standards to align with evolving expert protocols as we all work together to manage the spread of Covid-19,” said Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, in the news release. “Health guidance is clear on wearing masks, and it is a simple step everyone can take when in public spaces of hotels to protect themselves, each other and associates.”

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