Other hotels are installing thermographic cameras to identify those infected by the virus by their heat signatures and air-conditioning systems that can help prevent the spread of viruses and microbes.
Airbnb, a holiday home rentals website, has also introduced new safety precautions. Hosts can sign up to a new “cleaning protocol” which guarantees the use of masks, gloves and specific disinfectants when cleaning the property and leaving a 24-hour decontamination period before the next guest can enter.
The other option is for owners to choose to leave their property vacant for a set period – currently at least 72 hours – between stays, with no activity except cleaning.
Emma Cripwell, who runs an Airbnb in the North Wessex Downs, said she would have to raise her prices to make up for the income lost on days when her property is empty. She previously charged £60 a night to stay in her one-bedroom cottage, Honey’s Holt, but said that if she had to introduce vacant periods in between guests she would have to increase that to £100 a night.
Dan Wasiolek of Morningstar, an analyst, said hotels were likely to cut costs instead. “Budget hotels can break even at occupancy rates of just 30pc,” he said. “There’s a real possibility that upmarket hotels will cut back on the standards they offer rather than trying to up prices.”