HOTELS in Spain are to strip the "luxuries" often expected from guests to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

This could include mini-bars, tea and coffee machines, gyms and even sun lounger cushions.

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The days of the hotel minibar is numbered "if the establishment cannot guarantee its cleanliness among clients".

Even non-essential "excess" items including rugs, ornaments, decorative items and towels could be removed from rooms.

Bathroom bins will have to be automatic with secure lids, blankets and pillows in wardrobes must be protected and hair dryers disinfected, as will all the coat hangers if they have been used.

The usual ironing facility will be restricted and there will be limited room service. Towels will also disappear from the lobby toilets in favour of throwaway paper ones.

Industry publication says it has seen leaked details of a report prepared for the Spanish government which cover the safe-being of hotel staff and guests.

Safety screens, self distancing, limits in the reception, terraces and pool area, constant disinfecting, staff changing their clothes on arrival, regular cleaning of fixtures and fittings, no help yourself buffets, the wearing of masks, dining shifts and no cash payments are all included, as was expected.

When people not from the same family want to share a room ie friends going on holiday together, the hotels will have to weigh up the "risk factor" before giving the go-ahead.

Hotel gyms might also have to close if social distancing can't be achieved and common elements such as weights, fitness balls or dumbbells, among others, will be removed if disinfection is not possible between use by one client and another.

Outside by the pool, sun beds won't have cushions or comfy loungers and there won't be any beverage machines.

Miguel Mirones, ICTE president, said: "We are concerned with ensuring the health of workers, customers and residents. The Spanish tourism sector is responding with unity to the challenges that we will have to tackle in the coming months."

Similar measures will also apply to tourist apartments and campsites.

A study has been carried out by the Institute of Hotel Tourism Quality (ICTE) in collaboration with the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT) to look into how coronavirus can spread in water and sand.

Thankfully, the virus has been found to have a very low infection rate in water.

The findings will be a major boost for the country's holiday  industry as tourism chiefs have not yet given the go-ahead for leisure swimming in the ocean or the use of pools in hotels which will be allowed to open, with restrictions, from May 11.

In their report, the six researchers have concluded: "In recreational activities, SARS-CoV-2 infection by contact with water from standard bathing conditions is highly unlikely. "

They added: "However, these activities generally involve a loss of the recommended measures of social distancing."

Beaches across Spain are creating sunbathing 'squares' with cordoned off areas for tourists.

Some regions are even introducing designated zones for different ages and family groups.


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