Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IUF and its affiliates have acted to protect the millions of workers in the tourism sector. The danger to hotel workers and guests drove critical discussions with international institutions. In the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in March 2021, the IUF called upon governments to “develop and implement protocols–negotiated with trade unions—to protect hotel workers.” In May 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the IUF co-sponsored a webinar on the safe operation of hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic to focus attention on modes of virus transmission, ventilation and cleaning routines necessary to protect workers and guests.
The IUF Guide to COVID-19 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in hotels (in English, French & Spanish) is a new resource which is the product of these discussions as well as consultations with leading industrial hygienists, occupational health experts and specialists from the WHO and ILO. The IUF Guide brings together evidence-based knowledge about the transmission of COVID-19 with international safety and health standards and:
- complements and updates interim guidance from the WHO issued on August 25, 2020 on “COVID-19 management in hotels and other entities of the accommodation sector”
- takes into account the specific health risks posed by the aerosol transmission (spread of respiratory particles) of COVID-19
- includes trade unions’ demands for workers on income and job protection
IUF Assistant General Secretary James Ritchie welcomed the new publication, “The IUF Guide to COVID-19 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in hotels has been developed to enable IUF affiliates and others that are involved in negotiating and implementing safety protocols in hotels to protect both workers and guests during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”