Myrtle Beach hotels update cleaning protocols amid covid-19

By Terry Massey
May 15, 2020

As much of the country slowly returns to normal in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, Myrtle Beach is getting back to what it does best – welcoming visitors to the sunny South Carolina seashore.

Effective May 1, Myrtle Beach began reopening hotels and other short-term rentals. Hotels in the Myrtle Beach city limits are honoring existing reservations through May 14 and accepting new bookings for vacations starting May 15 or later, while some surrounding communities are already welcoming new guests.

New safety regulations and sanitation procedures have been enacted at hotels and rentals along the Grand Strand. They are designed to protect guests and staff while preventing the spread of the virus. Many hotels in the city of Myrtle Beach must adhere to guidelines set forth by City Council.

“We thrive on hospitality,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, “but the city council has a responsibility to keep our visitors and community safe. We tried to find the best balance for everyone.”

In addition to adhering to state and local ordered guidelines for reopening, some local hoteliers are taking extra steps to help vacationers feel and stay safe during their visits. Check with your specific hotel to see what they’re doing to keep guests and employees safe.

Among the many measures taken by local hotels is an increased commitment to cleanliness and disinfection throughout the property. High standards have been set for rooms and common areas, including lobbies, elevators and high-touch items like room keys and luggage carts.

Lobbies will feature plexiglass barriers between masked front-desk staff and guests, capacity limits (one guest per party), hand-sanitization stations, and 6-foot floor markings to promote social distancing.

Some hotels offer in-vehicle and online check-in to minimize contact between guests and staff. Valet and bell service have been temporarily discontinued, except for guests who require special assistance.

The lobbies and other common areas will undergo routine cleaning and disinfecting every 2-4 hours, including reception desks, door handles and staircase rails, lounge chairs and tables, and all public areas.

Elevators will operate under strict guidelines depending on hotel capacity. Policies range from one party per elevator limits to the mandatory use of face masks and gloves. Elevators are equipped with hand-sanitizing stations and will be a point of focus for cleaning staffs.

Rooms also are undergoing an increased level of cleaning and disinfecting. In addition to regular housekeeping protocol, extra emphasis is placed on kitchens, bathrooms, countertops and fixtures, as well as high-touch items like thermostats, telephones and TV remotes.

Housekeeping service is limited to providing fresh towels and bed linens. Daily cleaning service is currently unavailable to limit interaction between guests and staff. Hotel associates will not enter rooms except in emergency situations.

In accordance with state orders, hotels are not permitted to open swimming pools and other water amenities, pool decks, fitness centers until May 18. Local restaurants are limited to indoor seating, outdoor dining and takeout service until further notice.

Although individual parties are permitted to congregate together at hotels, they are required maintain a safe distance from other groups. Guests are advised to follow social distancing guidelines both on and off the hotel premises.

“We welcome all visitors any time, regardless of the situation, but we want our visitors and our residents to be safe,” Bethune said. “We want people to practice social distancing, wear a mask in a crowd, and be respectful of our community. We want people to have a good vacation and go home safe, healthy, and happy. We also want to keep our community to stay safe, healthy, and happy.”