Marriott to require guests to wear facemasks

The policy is inspired by AHLA’s ‘Safe Stay’ initiative checklist

Starting July 27, Marriott International will require all guests to wear facemasks in public areas in its hotels to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

TRAVELERS WITH RESERVATIONS at a hotel by Marriott International will have something else to remember to pack: facemasks. The company now requires guests, like Marriott employees, wear masks in the hotels’ public areas.

In a video message posted on the company’s sight on July 20, Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO, announced the new policy as part of the company’s participation in the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Safe Stay initiative launched in May. The first item on AHLA’s recently released “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” is to require facemasks in public spaces.

For the past six months, Sorenson said, the pandemic has been an “unprecedented public health crisis.” Since then, hotels have implemented best practices including social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols and mobile room keys and contactless check in,  he said before referring to the Safe Stay checklist.

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Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO, announced the new policy in a video on the company’s website.

“It includes the basics we’ve all come to expect; practice social distancing, especially in all indoor common areas in hotels, wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer, and certainly, don’t travel if you have recently had symptoms or been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19,” Sorenson said. “Health experts have made it clear that wearing face coverings in public spaces is one of the easiest steps that we can all take to protect one another and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “As part of our commitment to clean, we made it a brand standard that all associates wear masks and set an example. Given the recent spikes across the U.S., and with guidance from health officials, we are now extending the requirement to wear facemasks in all indoor public spaces of the hotels to our guests, no matter the jurisdiction.”

The new policy starts July 27 and Sorenson said they will continue to review the policy periodically and inform the public of any changes.

“These are all easy steps we can take to support one another and the communities we love,” Sorenson said. “I know so many of us are eager to get back on the road again. Let’s take these simple preventative measures and make it safer and easier for all of us to travel.”

Other hotel companies have required guests to wear masks in common areas. Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts issued a similar policy in June. Hyatt Hotel Corp. also requires guests to wear masks, said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO in a statement in AHLA’s press release for the release of the check list

“At Hyatt, we require face coverings for hotel guests across the U.S. and Canada in order to care for the health and safety of our guests and colleagues,” Hoplamazian said. “To help enable safe travel amidst the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we need to come together as an industry and promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing.”