COVID 19 UPDATE
TO ALL OUR VERY DEAR CUSTOMERS
Phone lines open 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday
Telephone to Book ONLY
Thank you for choosing to stay at the Empire Hotel. We very much look forward to welcoming you and wanted to inform you of some of the new procedures and protocols we have implemented to make your stay with us as safe and comfortable as possible - above and beyond our usual requirements. Our aim is to provide a safe yet still welcoming guest experience and retain the spirit of the Empire.
Our ultimate aim is to keep you our customer’s safe, our staff safe and our wider community safe.
PRE- ARRIVAL - If you feel unwell or have Covid 19 symptoms before you get to the hotel you are able to cancel with no penalty until 11am on the day of arrival.
CAR PARKING - please Park in any of the hotel car parks to either side and rear of property. Please do not block another car in unless they are in your party as we will not be asking staff to move any guest cars at this time. Take spaces to ensure you do not get blocked in.
ARRIVAL - We will not be taking guest temperatures on arrival. Mask use will be as per government guidelines or customer preference, staff will be wearing masks.
LUGGAGE - Please leave luggage in your car until your room is ready. We can provide assistance with luggage and porter will take from car to outside of room – he will maintain distance and not enter room.
CONTACTLESS CHECK IN - We can send a key to your mobile phone so you can bypass Reception (need to download ASSA ABLOY app)
You can , if you prefer, check in with Reception and we will give you a plastic key card (Disinfected between uses) Reception has plexiglass screens for staff and customer benefit.
ROOM - We are making some modifications to room amenities and individual wrapped soap and shampoo in room , with body lotion on request, no sherry in room but on request in bar. All consumables are also individually wrapped. Extra and enhanced cleaning in place.
POOL - only open if permitted by government. If we are able then usual times from 7am to 9.30pm and with social distancing observed. Sauna , steam room and spa bath are not in operation as per government guidelines.
GYM - in operation with distancing measures, please use sanitising spray pre and post use. Changing rooms/pool toilets will be closed, kindly use facilities in your room and come changed and in your robe.
RESTAURANT – BREAKFAST - from 7.30am to 10.00am Monday to Friday and 8 to 10.30 weekends. No hot or cold buffet and full waiter service. As we will be not using all tables in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines we will make use of our Poolside restaurant area as well but there still could be delay between 9.15 and 10am. We apologise but service without a self- service buffet is MUCH SLOWER so it is advisable to avoid 8.45 – 9.30 whenever possible
NEW LEGISLATION - Maximum party size is now 4 not including children 11 and under so all tables will be no more than that size.( Unless with a carer or from one household )
DINNER from 5.30 to 8.30 last tables daily and tables as above, so use of both restaurants, there may be a delay between 7.15 and 8pm and guests can take a seat in lounge if a wait.
We will not take bookings for time slots at the moment but we would request some guests to come early ( 5.30/6 ) or later (8/8.30) to help stagger service.
BAR/LOUNGE - No service at the bar itself and table service only. All charges to room or contactless card payment- no cash payments – no signatures required.
ENTERTAINMENT - No live entertainment permitted so no piano, harp or disco over weekends.
CONTACTLESS CHECK-OUT - Your bill will be put under your door the morning of departure, one copy for your selves and one copy to be signed and dropped in box at Reception. Payment will be taken off card given for balance of account. If you have any queries about the bill kindly contact by dialling 0 or visit Reception.
PPE - We will use PPE as per government instructions and staff will now be using face covering/mask in all customer facing areas.
NEW LEGISLATION- FACE MASKS will now be mandatory for guests in all public areas from 14 September ie. In corridors and reception area also bar/lounge and restaurant whilst moving around. It can be removed whilst eating and drinking also swimming. Visors/face shields are not encouraged as they have not been proven outside clinical settings and are not as effective as face covering.
CURFEW - As of 24 September the government has imposed a 10pm curfew. We are permitted to allow a drinking up period after 10pm of approximately 15 minutes and by 10.20pm all guests should be in rooms and out of public areas. We thank you for your co operation in this matter.
CANCELLATION - You may cancel your room with no penalty until 11am on the day of arrival this is not only for your peace of mind but also for the safety of other guests and staff as we would encourage you to cancel if you feel unwell or experiencing symptoms.
COVID-19 - If you become unwell during your stay with us you will be asked to leave as soon as possible and without further contact with guests and staff in order to self-isolate at home.
SANITISER - hand sanitising stations around the hotel and at front and rear main entrances, entrances to all public areas and in lift and other points of the hotel.
SOCIAL DISTANCING - in effect throughout hotel with capped number of rooms sold and tables spaced approximately 2m apart in restaurants or back to back alcoves and spaced seating throughout lounge and bar areas.
NEW LEGISLATION - CONTROLLED ACCESS - all customers to provide name and telephone number and proof of name with credit/debit card for Track& Trace purposes and groups over 4 with adults will need to provide additional proof of same household address.
We would ask guests to respect the social distance and hygiene requirements throughout the hotel.
As you can appreciate, this is a very fluid situation and our procedures are under constant review and are updated as government guidelines change. The Empire remains committed as always to ensuring you have a relaxing and enjoyable stay as possible.
Elyse & Michael Waddy, Len & Elizabeth Maddocks and Empire team
COVID-19 is a public health emergency. The overall risk of contracting the virus has decreased sufficiently for our business to re-open, but it has not been eliminated so we have assessed both the guest stay and the staff procedures to minimise risk. We will take all practically viable measures to reduce the risk to the lowest possible.
RISKS - COVID 19 can be spread though droplet i.e. if someone sneezes, coughs or talks : a touch point and community spread .
This assessment will focus on measures that can reduce the spread by droplet and touch and we have gone through the guest journey throughout the hotel and the working day of staff in each department to assess all of the actions and if they can be changed or eliminated to achieve this goal.
The main measures we can undertake to reduce the spread of COVID 19 are as follows:
- Hand washing
- Good respiratory and general hygiene
- Regular cleaning touch points and enhanced general cleaning overall
- Social distance measures
- Home working/isolated working/cohort working
Hand washing and social distancing are the most effective at reducing virus spread.
COVID 19 Transmission Routes
Direct contact to face- eyes, nose from droplets or aerosols spraying from someone infected in close contact.
Contamination via droplets from sneezing and coughing landing on surfaces and then touching eyes, nose or mouth. Other means of secretions getting into surfaces could be from inside nose and mouth and then touching surfaces with contaminated hands.
Contaminated hands of infected people can transfer the virus directly to others e.g. hands touch surfaces which can be picked up by other people’s hands and transferred to their eyes or nose for entry into the body.
Possible transmission from faeces to hands and then directly or indirectly into the body.
Main controls hand washing and enhanced cleaning protocols also social distancing.
RECEPTION /FRONT OF HOUSE RISKS
1) Car parking - no blocking cars so staff do not have to move any.
Luggage - leave in car till room is ready so as to not have in hall area. Taken up to room by porter who travels at a safe distance and leaves outside room- sanitise hands before and after luggage handling
2) Check-in - contactless and key card send to mobile phone and pre arrival email and reply instead of coming to desk and signing registration form. If guest does not have email/app etc then put form on reception at the side and away from you and sanitise pen prior and post use. Give disinfected key card. Key card drop box so all old keys disinfected before re –use.
3) Check-out - Make contactless Guest folio under door and signed copy dropped in box at reception with permission to process balance off card given.
4) Staff Contact - guest contact minimised also with partial Perspex screen on Reception /Bar/Poolside counters.
5) No DVD library or other shared items
6) Public toilets - Guests will be recommended to use toilets in their own rooms over public ones.
7) Staff to only use toilets in pool changing rooms as these will be closed to customers.
8) Lift - no lift use by staff – you can put equipment in but not travel with it- guests encouraged to walk down stairs and also only one family group at a time.
9) CAPACITY - We are able to achieve social distancing as we have introduced capacity restriction measures- number of rooms not to be sold so keep residents at manageable levels- no non residents to start off with and then at a later time with bookings so as to not coincide with residents.
10) ADHERENCE - There will be Covid Monitors who will monitor the hygiene and social distance measures and ensure they are being followed. They will be instructed to use their discretion and will have full management support – this is always the case – and to contact Elyse or Michael Waddy if any concerns or problems , again as is usual procedure. Our approach will be encouragement over enforcement as we know most people want to do the right thing.
If you feel unwell and have symptoms prior to work you MUST call the hotel as soon as possible, stay at home and self-isolate.
If someone in your household has symptoms you should also self isolate and for the recommended time.
Travel to work, ideally by yourself and walk or cycle. Do not share a car with other people unless your own family group.
Remember to follow government guidelines out of work as well as this will keep you safe and able to work.
Wash hands before you leave home for work. Upon arrival at work at either front or back door use hand sanitizer provided. After depositing your coat and bags wash your hands again before you start your shift. Make sure you sanitise the clocking in machine before and after use- 30 second contact time.
Hands should be washed every 30 minutes as a minimum and use alcohol gel in between this and after certain tasks ie carrying luggage, a room service tray, serving food. Make sure you know how to wash your hands effectively (20 seconds) and dry completely . There are stations with hand soap throughout the hotel. There are several points all over the hotel where alcohol gel is situated, including entrances, desks, lifts. After 8 gel uses a film can build up and then necessary to wash hands with soap and water.
Hands pass the virus to an entry point on the body so try not to touch your face, eyes, nose, ears and mouth. This is very difficult and you will do far more than you imagine.
Always wash hands thoroughly after going to the toilet obviously. Remember to fully dry hands as well.
Good respiratory hygiene so use a tissue to sneeze, cough, blow nose and dispose of afterwards, if no tissue then use elbow crook.
Minimal jewellery and wedding/engagement rings and religious items only ideally. This is helpful to fully clean hands.
Social distance. Maintain a 2m distance between other staff members also customers wherever practically possible. Where it is not, remain as far apart as possible and keep closer contact to a short a time as possible. Always give the customer right of way in a corridor.
If you are working with someone then stay side to side or back to back rather than face to face.
Social distancing measures apply at break times as well or if smoking outside.
If you feel unwell AT WORK, notify your supervisor immediately and return home thereafter without interaction with other staff or customers and do not touch anything.
PPE. Face coverings mandatory whilst in all public customer facing areas of the hotel and guests as well as staff. Visors/face shields not encouraged as not proven outside a clinical setting and from a public health perspective not as effective as face coverings.
Lifts should not be used by staff unless transporting equipment and then do not accompany.
Toilets. Staff to use the changing room toilets in the pool area (key to mobile phone or own key card). These will be closed to hotel guests at this time.
1 staff member at a time in staff changing room, still room, all store rooms.
All uniform MUST be fresh and clean each day.
REAR ENTRANCE DOOR - This will be in use as an entrance now with key card access and all staff to make us of this door as opposed to front door whenever possible.
General good hygiene essential.
Clean and sanitise your work area with disinfectant and paper or wipes before you start, phones, computer equipment.
Adherence Policy- departmental supervisors will monitor and issues that cannot be instantly and satisfactorily addressed will be passed to Elyse or Michael Waddy. Wilful non- compliance will not be tolerated.
COVID-19- There will be random temperature checks of staff or if suspected illness.
Peace of mind- if you are in a situation that makes you feel unsafe then take yourself out of it, see your supervisor or management.
BE RESPONSIBLE- DO YOUR PART- SAVE LIVES & LIVELIHOODS
COVID – RISK ASSESSMENT STAFF RESTAURANT
1) BUFFET - NO hot buffet and from kitchen only - NO cold buffet and served by waiter. FULL waiter service.
2) GUEST CONTACT - Staff to work as a small team i.e. a front and a back waiter and per set of tables. This is to minimise staff to staff contact also staff to customer contact.
3) STAFF CONTACT - Food runner still to bring food out, so as to minimise contact waiter to chef. Wash/sanitise hands after each table. Wash hands minimum every 30 minutes or after every 8 gel uses (film develops after this many and becomes ineffective).
4) MENUS - Single use menus.
5) CONDIMENTS - Individual condiments and not shared - not sachets necessarily and could be individual portions in small pots and Clingfilm. Let guests take off Clingfilm.
6) CUTLERY/CROCKERY - Table setting of cutlery/crockery only put down as guest arriving- keep guest 2m away as you do this
7) SEATING/TABLE - Table/chair sanitised at this time- MUST do correct contact time - so guest can see being done. This is also done after guest departure from table. Wipe sanitizer off with blue paper and throw away.
8) GUEST DEPARTURE - After guest departure ALL food items from table thrown away and ALL crockery/cutlery etc to be put through dishwasher to sanitise, including toast racks and teapots.
9) CAPACITY - restricted number of guests in hotel; all encouraged to stagger, not come at peak times and extended service time.
10) TABLES - not all tables to be used and spaced at approximately 2m apart or back to back alcoves which have also had sides filled in so solid partitions. Poolside restaurant the same and alcoves made by pool and tables spaced on balcony.
1) TABLE SETTING - No table setting until guest arriving – guest waits 2m away. Table/chairs sanitised at this time again. Before guest sits down put menus, bread, water and candle, cutlery bundle.
2) CONTACT - Staff to be organised into front and back waiter teams and to reduce staff to staff contact also staff to customer contact.
3) FOOD ORDERING - Order taken by EJW or front waiter at social distance.
4) FOOD SERVICE - Food put down by food runner- minimise waiter to chef contact- taking extra care not to touch food or where guest will touch. Sanitise hands after each table and wash hands minimum every 30minutes or after 8 gel uses. DO NOT pick up dirty plates on way back into kitchen.
5) TABLES/SEATING - Tables and seating areas to be deep cleaned at the end of service and left empty.
6) GUEST DEPARTURE - After guest departure ALL food items to be thrown away and ALL crockery/cutlery to be put through dishwasher including bread baskets
7) WATER SERVICE - NO global use water jugs and individual on table.
8) BUTTER SERVICE - NO open butter and cling filmed and left on.
9) TOILETS - Guests recommended to use own bedroom toilet over public ones.
10) NON- RESIDENT- If a non-resident - needs to pay bill at reception by card only and no cash payments . No Non – residents as a rule unless checked and authorised by management.
11) CAPACITY - restricted number of guests to achieve spacing requirements, guests encouraged to stagger and to avoid peak times and no non–residents to begin with, and then later with pre bookings only to avoid overlap with residents.
12) TABLES - not all tables to be used and spaced at approximately 2m apart or back to back alcoves which have also had sides filled in so solid partitions. Poolside restaurant the same and alcoves made by pool and tables spaced on balcony.
13) NON –RESIDENTS - If we take some non residents and they are not pre booked then you MUST take their name, address and telephone number should we need to contact. If they refuse to give these details then it is the hotel policy to refuse to serve and they would have to leave immediately.
1) TABLE - Service at table only and not standing at bar. Stand 2 m away to take order and charge to room or contactless payment ONLY. Reception will take cash in an emergency situation.
2) DRINKS - use base or stem of glass to put drink down and keep face away from guest and as quickly as possible. USE TRAY
3) GLASSES - All glassware and serving utensils including beer trays, scoops, tongs, ice buckets as well to go through dishwasher for disinfection.
4) No NON-RESIDENTS in first phase as will not have enough space and cannot stand at bar.
5) ANY Non residents in the future will probably still have to provide name and contact details in case need to be traced. Any one that refuses does not get served.
6) ALCOHOL - it is illegal to serve anyone who is DRUNK and this is something we need to be even more vigilant about as someone who is overly intoxicated is less likely to follow any social distancing and other Covid Safe guidelines.
1) Tray to be left outside door on disinfected luggage rack- do not enter room.
2) No need for guest signature.
3) Individual condiments to be used and thrown away after if not used.
4) Guest told to call 0 for tray pick up and to put outside door.
5) Staff to wash hands prior and post tray set up and return.
HOUSEKEEPING WORKING INSTRUCTIONS
- Work individually NOT with anyone else.
- Keep to same area each day if possible.
- Extra attention on ALL touch points.
- Use chemicals specific to job and follow guidelines on use especially contact time to ensure sanitise and disinfect.
- High touch points to be sanitised every 30 minutes.
- Public toilets to be deep cleaned twice daily and periodically whenever possible.
- No lift use - can put equipment in lift but not travel with it.
- Staff toilets – make use of Pool changing room toilets and NOT public ones.
- Work individually NOT as a team.
- Keep to same section where possible.
- Start and finish room in one i.e. cannot go though several rooms after each other to get dirty towels.
- Ventilation- open windows upon entry to a room and leave open if weather permits and always on departures.
- Wash hands thoroughly after each room.
- ALL linen/towels/robes to be taken out and replaced for all departures and on request for stays.
- ALL crockery/glasses to be removed and washed in dishwasher ONLY not sink for all departures and stays on request.
- No Sherry/No biscuits/No magazines in room
- All consumables to be individually wrapped
- No large toiletries and individual ones and new ones each guest even if not used.
- Pay attention to main touch points - remote controls/light switches/AC controls/Safe controls/ All handles including fridge , kettle, hairdryer.
- COVID-19 - cleaning procedure after a suspected/confirmed case: PPE to be worn of masks. Gloves and plastic tabard: put all dirty linen also pillows and duvets ( without touching own clothes if possible) into bin bags and leave for 72 hours: wash in machine on disinfecting programme after that time: disinfect and deep clean room : fog room: leave for 72 hours or as long as possible.
1) Regular cleaning protocols as already in operation. Good hygiene procedures already in place prior to pandemic.
2) Enhanced and extra cleaning procedures at the end of night with Ecolab specific bacteria/virus eliminating chemicals. Left on overnight and wiped off in morning before start day. Re – wiped again.
3) Cohort working where possible so to minimise chef to chef contact.
4) Main Hobart dishwasher used for all pots, pans, crockery and cutlery and use of Ecolab disinfecting chemicals and high heat sanitising programmes. Visual notification if not achieving desired temperatures.
5) Smaller Hobart dishwasher used for glassware and smaller silver items and again on sanitisising programmes.
6) Deliveries taken at kitchen door where possible and delivery people limited .
7) Store rooms- one staff member at a time in stores, changing rooms and still room.
8) PPE- This is down to personal preference unless directed by management or government guidelines. Now mandatory in all public customer facing areas.
9) Chefs to adhere to usual hand washing procedures and make use of hand sanitizer in between washes or as instructed by Executive Chef.
10) Social distance whenever possible at 2m and if not as far apart as possible and work side to side- this is usual on a kitchen line- rather than face to face. Any close passing as quickly as possible and turn face away.
11) Menus to be adjusted if required.
12) Staff fit for work and always clean whites each day. Leave uniform in specific uniform bin for disinfecting wash at hotel.
13) Ventilation- fairly new kitchen extraction system and excellent level of fresh air ventilation available.
Download: Guest Experience
Download: Risk Assessment