Covid Safety Tips & Guidelines for Landowners

We know the last 18 months have been challenging and we’d like to thank you, our landowners for continuing to open up your little piece of paradise to our New Zealand domestic travellers.

As we navigate the way forward together, we’re put together some best practice guidelines for cleaning and to help address any health and safety concerns around Covid 19. While there is not one key source of information, we’ve collected and collated some of the health and safety information which we feel is most relevant for landowners. We have also provided some links on where you can go for further advice or information.

Guidelines for Accommodation & Hospitality Sector for Level 2 (or equivalent) Restrictions

  • Mandatory record keeping is required either by having a Covid-19 QR Code displayed or a manual sign in booklet which specifically notes the date/time guests arrive and depart. All guests over 12 who are visiting or staying at your business premises are required to scan in. This includes accommodation guests, employees, contractors, and visitors. Please note that the Covid-19 QR Codes do not require an internet connection to be active.
  • Display a Covid-19 QR code that is relevant to your premises. If you don’t have one, this is an easy process using the following link https://qrform.tracing.covid19.govt.nz/
  • Communicate with your staff / employees and ensure they are aware of the requirements within each level restriction
  • Within the workplace, a physical distance of 1m is required. In all customer and client facing activities, a 2m physical distancing rule apples so far as is reasonably practicable. You must also consider how to inform your guests such as having additional entry signage, or providing this information in a guest book on arrival.
  • Face coverings are an important component of your health and safety plan. Employees are required to wear a face covering / face mask when working in a café, restaurant, bar, or food service outlet. We recommend in the interest of guest safety, wear a mask should be worn by staff/employees in all indoor situations. For further guidance on hospitality regulations, we recommend contacting Hospitality New Zealand
  • If you have conference or meeting facilities, physical distancing remains in place. While there is no cap on group gatherings while distancing requirements are in place, there is still a cap of 100 guests for social functions
  • Shared backpacker / dormitories can still operate but are only to be used when necessary. Where possible, occupancy should be booked which enables sufficient physical distancing requirements.
  • Communal facilities may be open but physical distancing must be adhered to, and rigorous hygiene practices must be maintained.
  • Housekeeping services may operate but care must be taken to ensure all staff have access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Heightened levels of cleaning must be maintained.

These guidelines have been developed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Holiday Parks New Zealand, and Hospitality New Zealand. For further clarification, the full guidance is available here. The guidelines were introduced on Wed 6 October 2021.

Best Practice for Cleaning Your Accommodation

Cleaning is a very important measure that helps to reduce the risk of exposure to many infections, including Covid-19. The Covid-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus when they come into contact with a surface or an object that has the virus on it by then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. The best way to protect against this exposure is appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of environmental surfaces.

The basic principles for cleaning include during Covid:

  • Wear gloves and appropriate PPE gear where needed
  • Ventilate the space prior and during the cleaning process
  • Clean all frequently touched surfaces and objects incl door handles, TV remotes, light switches etc
  • Wash dishes and launder at a hot temperature
  • Sweep, mop, dust, and vacuum before cleaning other surfaces
  • Follow cleaning and disinfectant instructions indicated on the product label.  Allow the surface to air dry for the recommended amount of time.
  • Ensure all staff and public bathrooms are well stocked with soap
  • Ensure paper towels are available or hand driers are functional
  • Ensure you have a good cleaning routine to keep all guests, staff, and visitors safe

Please note, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting which is important to understand:

Cleaning means to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution. It is an essential first step in any disinfection process.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. The disinfectant concentration and contact time are also critical for effective surface disinfection.

In the event that you are notified of a positive Covid-19 case that has visited or stayed at your accommodation, a deep clean will be required using full PPE. For more information about cleaning during the Covid-19 response, we recommend you visit the Ministry of Health website where you will find a range of information on cleaning, products, and what to do if you have a known case of Covid-19.

Qualmark Covid Clean Approved

In 2020, Qualmark launched the Covid Clean Approved Assessment which is available to all Qualmark members. It is a self-assessment tool which offers a detailed overview of the Qualmark License holder’s operations and how they meet the Government’s Covid-19 requirements. Once complete, a Covid Clean Approved logo will be provided for display at the business premises. This is another quality assessment which recognises a trusted sign of a quality travel experience.

We know we have a number of Qualmark properties within our group of landowners. If you are Qualmarked already and have not yet completed your assessment, we recommend getting started asap.

If you’re not currently a Qualmark member and would like to be, the licence fee waiver is still in place. You can find out more about joining Qualmark here

We hope you have found this information useful and informative. For further information on Covid-19 in New Zealand, please visit the Unite Against Covid-19 website https://covid19.govt.nz/

Author: Jessica Vandy