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Lodging & Accommodations Guidelines


For All Businesses

The State recommends safeguarding protocols for all businesses in Tennessee, including those that are reopening and those essential businesses that remained open during the Safer at Home order. These safeguarding protocols are based on the recommendations of the CDC and OSHA. To support the Tennessee Pledge, all employers and employees should take steps to reopen safely, help other industries be able to open more quickly, and allow Tennessee to remain healthy and open for business.

Businesses should follow guidance issued by OSHA, the CDC, and Tennessee Department of Health. These guidelines do not replace or supersede any applicable federal or other regulatory requirements or standards. To assist your business in taking appropriate precautions for COVID-19, industry-specific safeguarding protocols have been created with the input of private sector working groups in partnership with the Economic Recovery Group. Protocols are subject to revision and may be released on a rolling basis.

Safeguarding Guidance

In addition to strict adherence to OSHA and CDC guidelines, the State recommends lodging and accommodation establishments implement an assortment of measures to protect consumers and employees. The Economic Recovery Group acknowledges that many lodging and accommodations establishments have maintained continuous operations as essential businesses, and these guidelines are intended as a supplement to assist your business in taking appropriate precautions for COVID-19.

Employee Protection

  • Staff should wear face coverings (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC (e.g., gloves)
  • Employers should provide training to their employees on personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines on a regular basis.
  • Provide hand sanitizing stations in staff areas such as wash stations with soap and/or hand sanitizer
  • Stagger staff shifts, breaks, and meals, in compliance with wage and hour laws and regulations, to maintain social distancing
  • Provide regular updates and training for employees about personal COVID-19 mitigation and hotel / lodging industry safeguards based on CDC guidelines
  • Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
    • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
    • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
  • Temperature screening employees:
    • Best practice: employers to take temperatures onsite with a no-touch thermometer each day upon arrival at work
    • Minimum: temperatures can be taken before arriving. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Require all employees to report any illness to supervisor and require notification of COVID-19 positive case in employee’s household; any employee with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 should be sent home and instructed to follow CDC recommendations. Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.
  • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms or common areas and limit capacity of such areas to allow for safe social distancing – a minimum of 6 feet – whenever possible
  • Post extensive signage on health policies, including the following documents, in the workplace to help educate building occupants on COVID-19 best practices:
  • Employees should stay home when feeling ill, when exposed to COVID-19 (e.g., positive household member case), or if diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Employees who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the CDC (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  • Increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing
  • Wear a cloth face covering (not an N-95 or medical mask, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) while at work and in public to help protect against the spread of the virus
  • Abide by guidelines established by employer, which may include the use of gloves, social distancing practices in the workplace and increased sanitization

Consumer Protection

  • Reinforce social distancing in all common areas. Mark any indoor or outdoor lobbies so that social distancing standards are achieved (consider options to limit traffic in common areas, such as only one member of a party being allowed to wait in the lobby to check in if lobby space is limited, etc.)
  • Limit the number of customers to 50% capacity for all common seating areas, meeting rooms, etc.
  • Limit self-service options (customer samples, communal packaging, food/beverages, etc.)
  • Create and distribute a welcome letter that explains current service and amenity adjustments and expected employee and guest interactions, and any restrictions required of guests (e.g., no gathering in the lobby)
  • Maintain appropriate inventory of and use OSHA/CDC-recommended chemicals and cleaning products for COVID-19

Business Process Adaptations

  • Establish enhanced cleaning protocols that follow CDC/OSHA guidelines, particularly for common areas, high traffic areas, high touch surfaces (e.g., door handles, counters, elevator buttons, pens, keyboards) every two hours and when visibly dirty
  • Establish enhanced cleaning protocols that follow CDC/OSHA guidelines in guest areas and rooms, including sanitizing all high touch surfaces (such as alarm clocks, HVAC controls, television remotes) daily and when visibly dirty
  • Establish hotel protocols, in accordance with CDC and Tennessee Department of Health guidance, for providing lodging to customers who may have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Place hand sanitizer locations in high traffic areas, including lobbies, elevator areas, food services entrances, and meeting room entrances
  • Consider and adopt appropriate measures, if possible, to increase ventilation in common areas during heavy guest traffic
  • Use plastic shields or barriers between customers and employees at service counters (e.g., check-in, concierge), which are frequently cleaned (every two hours and when visibly dirty)
  • Use a clearly designated entrance and a separate clearly designated exit to maintain social distancing, if possible
  • When possible, limit hotel car services (e.g., valets) or other direct personal services (i.e., hotel porters). If necessary to continue offering car services, ensure staff are wearing masks and gloves and wipe down all surfaces touched before and after use (e.g., keys, wheel, door handle)
  • For hotel dining facilities: follow Restaurant Guidelines issued by the Economic Recovery Group, particularly regarding capacity, spacing, and not offering self-serve options like breakfast buffets, etc. (see full Restaurant guidelines here)
  • Modify check-in / check-out processes to observe social distancing and implement sanitization measures (e.g., mobile check-in, no shared pens, appropriate sanitization of room keys)
  • Limit elevator capacity to four individuals at a time if possible, and encourage use of stairs
  • Close all unstaffed gyms. Gyms must be staffed to be open, and follow  guidelines issued by the Economic Recovery Group for exercise facilities (see full Exercise Facilities guidelines here)
  • Implement appropriate protocols for aquatic venues, such as swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas, in accordance with CDC Considerations for Public Pools, which at a minimum should include:
    • Modify layouts of deck chairs and tables and limit capacity for the number of persons allowed in an aquatic venue at one time to ensure at least 6 feet of separation between families or small groups of acquaintances. Provide physical reminders for social distancing (e.g., lane lines in pool, non-slip tape on deck, or signs). Executive Order No. 30, which prohibits participation in social or recreational gatherings of ten (10) or more people, must be observed until no longer in effect
    • Implement cleaning and disinfecting practices for locker rooms and frequently touched surfaces at least daily and more frequently for shared objects such as handrails, deck chairs and tables, water fountains, and pool toys. Consider temporarily removing shared pool toys. Use cleaning projects that are appropriate for aquatic venues
    • Pools should be staffed. Assign monitoring and cleaning responsibilities to a staff member other than a lifeguard on duty
    • Encourage the use of face coverings when in close proximity with others; however, advise those wearing face coverings to not wear them in the water, as doing so could make it difficult to breathe
    • Provide hygiene supplies (soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer)
    • Post signage regarding COVID-19 symptoms and request that persons refrain from use if feeling ill
  • Ensure that any spa or salon services on the premises follow guidelines for close contact personal services issued by the Economic Recovery Group.
  • Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of linens, etc.