KAMPALA – As Uganda eases out of lockdown, hotels are opening to a ‘new normal’ of strict health and safety protocols, even though International travel into the country is prohibited and borders remain closed.
Speke Group of Hotels who runs a mix of luxury, business and budget hotels, as well as apartment hotels in Kampala, has moved to open some of its flagship hotels to the public but strictly following guidelines issued by government including social distancing.
The Group’s Chairman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia confirmed that Kabira Country Club, Speke Apartments, Bukoto Heights, Boulevard Apartments, Speke Apartments Kitante, and Speke Resort Munyonyo are now open and operating.
He also confirmed that La Cabana Restaurant at Speke Apartments on Wampewo Avenue is also now open, but only takes half of its capacity to create enough space necessary for observing social distancing guidelines.
“Speke Hotel Forest Cottages (Bukoto), and Dolphin Suites (Bugolobi) will open soon,” Dr. Sudhir told the media.
Amit Sachdeva, the Speke Group of Hotels General Manager told local media that the group’s facilities like restaurants and conference rooms had all been reconfigured to comply with the recommended social distancing guidelines.
“We have utilised this time to implement detailed measures to prepare ourselves to welcome you back whenever you feel safe and confident to travel and meet,” he is quoted by the CEO Magazine as saying.
Key among the new measures implemented to observe the recommended practices include frequent washing and sanitizing of hands, taking temperature checks, wearing of masks. He added that premises will also be disinfected regularly.
Experts have also recommended hotels to install screens between tables in their dining rooms, and introducing staggered dining hours and room service deliveries by staff in masks and gloves.
And when common areas such as pools and gyms can be reopened, strict social distancing and disinfecting regimes must be in place, experts warn.
Credit-card payment is being promoted in hotels and bars, and contactless technology is coming faster than anticipated.