SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, September 22, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a plan that would make mandatory daily cleanings of hotel rooms permanent, even after the coronavirus pandemic ceases.

Back in July, the city passed a 60-day ordinance that established these cleaning measures for hotels, seeing it as a way to protect visitors and prevent the spread of the virus, while also gaining trust from guests and tourists. A document from the American Hotel Association contains a long checklist of the cleaning protocols hotels are expected to follow, some of which are:

  • EPA approved cleaning and sanitizing protocols are in place to clean guest rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
  • Rooms are left vacant for 24-72 hours prior to or after cleaning (if possible).
  • Rooms are ‘sealed’ or mechanisms/notices are in place for clean rooms not to be entered between guests.

Guests have also been given the option to decline daily room cleaning, which was previously the norm before the pandemic. Rooms may be cleaned after a guest leaves, minimizing exposure and sustainability.

Now, before the 60-day ordinance expired, the city of San Francisco has made these measures permanent. According to statistics released from a recent survey done by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, cleanliness remains a big factor behind the decision to travel. According the 700 travelers who were surveyed, 34 percent reported that cleanliness was their number one factor when choosing a hotel. Other factors travelers chose were safety, price, and location.