Since the outbreak of COVID-19 began affecting everyday life, the serviced apartment sector has come into its own, housing guests isolating away from home, key workers on call and some of those most vulnerable to the virus.

Serviced apartments offer safe, self-contained accommodation with homelike conveniences such as kitchens, washing machines, welcome packs and keyless entry systems. All of this is backed by  professional levels of service and hygiene, so guests remain safely isolated and self-sufficient.

To reassure future guests in the wake of Covid-19, the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers is launching the ‘ASAP Stay with Confidence Promise’ as part of its accreditation process, ensuring levels of cleanliness that are pandemic-proof whatever the future brings.

The hygiene standard covers a multitude of elements, both before and after a guest stay. It ranges from the pre-arrival deep-cleaning of rooms, lift buttons and other touch-points, to PPE worn by staff within the premises; and from hands-free entry and plenty of sanitiser gel, to a period of non-occupation between guest stays to avoid cross-contamination.

James Foice, ASAP CEO, says: “When we realised how hard it was to find suitable places to live during the crisis, we worked closely with councils and public bodies to offer safe serviced apartments to those desperate to isolate close to work, or needing emergency accommodation.

“The comments we got back were all about the standard of cleanliness and the ability for guests to isolate safely, in comfort, made us realise how the industry was calling out for a formalisation of standards that we can all meet, across the industry. Crucially, this offers that all-important reassurance to visitors and travel buyers that serviced apartments offer a vision of accommodation post-COVID.”

Marcia Gomez, Managing Director of Cotels, joined the ASAP Emergency House Support Scheme to provide safe and secure accommodation to those in need.

She says: “As a team we have been vigilant in ensuring that social distancing measures are in place, including suspending weekly servicing and delivering linen packs in lieu, keyless entry for new arrivals, 24-hour telephone contact and stringent cleaning processes, most relating to combating the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s been a challenging time for everyone the past few weeks, so the support, advice & tools being offered by ASAP have and will continue to be, invaluable to us all.

“Safety and cleanliness to build traveller confidence is going to be paramount in the ‘new world’. The accreditation scheme will play an important role in this.”

ASAP – Stay with Confidence Promise – 2020