COVID-19: ‘Right of recall’ | NYC hotels finally agree on standards

A ‘right of recall’ for laid-off hospitality staff

California hospitality and service workers who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic will have a guaranteed right to return to their jobs when their employers resume business under a bill passed this week. The bill provides laid-off workers with a “right of recall,” requiring employers to offer to rehire laid-off workers when their former or similar positions become available. The measure must next clear the state Senate and gain the governor’s signature to become law. 

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NYC hotels agree on standards for reopening

After months of debating costs, over 130 Big Apple hotels have struck a deal with unions to impose strict sanitary standards to keep workers and guests safe from the coronavirus. Under the deal, hotel rooms will be disinfected daily — regardless of whether a guest has checked out or not. Room cleanings will be deeper and take longer than before, resulting in each housecleaner turning over 25% fewer rooms, although hoteliers avoided demands for shampooing the carpets every day. The union also backed down on a request that no one, including cleaning staff, be allowed to enter a room for 48 hours after a guest has checked out.

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Hotels and B&Bs to reopen in UK?

Hotels and bed and breakfasts in the United Kingdom could get the go- ahead to reopen. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to restart domestic tourism on July 4, in a bid to boost the ailing economy. Although Johnson says a final decision has not been made, it is understood officials are preparing to announce hotels and bed and breakfasts will open alongside pubs, restaurants and hairdressers at the beginning of next month.

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Singapore starts phase 2 of re-opening

Singapore moved into phase two of reopening the economy June 19, which will involve the resumption of “most activities,” with safe distancing and wearing of masks. Easing of measures include small-group social gatherings and food and beverage dine-in of up to any five persons; students to return to school daily from June 29; retail businesses may re-open their physical outlets; personal health and wellness, and home-based services may resume; certain recreational facilities may re-open such as swimming complexes, stadiums and gyms; and larger public venues such as malls may open, subjected to capacity limits. Travelers who are from or have visited Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mainland China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the past 14 consecutive days have to take a compulsory COVID-19 test. However, they may serve their stay home notices (“SHN”) at home instead of dedicated facilities as of June 19.

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Japan to ease some travel restrictions

Japan has announced plans to ease its coronavirus travel restrictions by allowing entrance for up to 250 business travelers daily from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. They will be required to submit itineraries detailing the hotels they are staying at and places they intend to visit. Business travelers like executives will be given first priority, with students and then tourists to follow. Details such as how many travelers from each country will be allowed, and how freely they will be able to move once at their destination, are currently in the planning stage.

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Room Mate hotels to reopen

Madrid-based Room Mate Group is preparing to gradually reopen its hotels and tourist apartments. The first hotels to reopen have been Room Mate Waldorf Towers in Miami, Room Mate Alain in Paris and Room Mate Gorka in San Sebastián. On June 25, Room Mate Óscar in Madrid and Room Mate Valeria in Málaga will also reopen. The hotels in the other cities where Room Mate Hotels has a presence, both nationally and internationally, will open at the end of June on a staggered basis. Be Mate, the apartment business operated by Room Mate, reopened tourist apartments in Madrid, Barcelona and Milan as of June 1.

Carnival Cruise extends reopening in North America

Carnival Cruise Line extended its operational pause in North America through September 30. Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13 but has extended that pause three times, reflecting the public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships. As with previous pause announcements, Carnival is giving guests who wish to move their booking to a later date a rebooking offers. Guests also have the option to receive a full refund.

New data shows impact of COVID-19 on tourism

After several months of disruption during the pandemic, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports that the sector is beginning to restart in some areas, most notably in Northern Hemisphere destinations. At the same time, restrictions on travel remain in place in a majority of global destinations, and tourism remains one of the worst affected of all sectors. While April was expected to be one of the busiest times of the year due to the Easter holidays, the near-universal introduction of travel restrictions led to a fall of 97% in international tourist arrivals. This follows a 55% decline in March. Between January and April, international tourist arrivals declined by 44%, translating into a loss of about US$195 billion in international tourism dollars.

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