The Orchard Road hotel linked to several international coronavirus cases has become one of the first to attain SG Clean certification, a move Grand Hyatt Singapore hopes will restore confidence among visitors.
The SG Clean campaign, launched last month to raise public hygiene standards amid the coronavirus outbreak, was rolled out for tourism and lifestyle businesses yesterday.
To obtain certification, firms must meet a checklist of seven requirements. They include the appointment of an SG Clean manager to oversee the establishment’s practices, having processes in place to monitor the health of employees, and ensuring frequent disinfection of common facilities.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa, and Village Hotel Sentosa – which had all been linked to past Covid-19 cases – were the first hotels to obtain certification.
Thirty shops and eateries along Orchard Road have also received the mark, a green SG Clean logo that can be displayed on shopfronts.
They include the Golden Village theatre, Haidilao Hotpot, and hair and beauty salon Jean Yip Hub at Plaza Singapura.
The Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore said yesterday that they will be encouraging more than 37,000 businesses in the tourism and lifestyle sectors to get certified in the coming months.
“The focus will be on establishments that experience heavy human traffic on a daily basis such as malls, hotels and tourist attractions,” they said.
Assessment and certification are free of charge.
The Grand Hyatt, which hosted a business conference organised by British company Servomex in January, has seen business suffer since the meeting was linked to seven cases, including four who tested positive after returning to their home countries. The hotel was declared an inactive cluster earlier this week, after not being connected to new Covid-19 cases for more than 28 days. All three local patients who attended the meeting have also recovered.
Hotel manager Parveen Kumar of the Grand Hyatt Singapore said at a press conference that the mark comes at the “perfect time” for the hotel, as its surveillance period has ended.
Asked how badly business at the hotel has been affected and whether it received cancellations in the wake of the cluster, Mr Parveen would say only that every business in the travel industry has been impacted by last-minute changes in international travel plans and the hotel has extended flexibility to guests.
“The hotel has not had to lay off staff or put employees on unpaid leave during this period,” he stated.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore is also launching staycation promotions and turning its focus to the domestic market during the tourist slowdown.
STB chief executive Keith Tan said it aims to audit and certify 570 hotels, attractions and other tourism establishments over the next two months.
“The SG Clean quality mark sends a strong signal to both locals and visitors that our tourism businesses take their cleanliness and hygiene very seriously and are committed to maintaining these high standards as a ‘new normal’ for the future,” he said in a statement.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat told the media during a visit to Plaza Singapura that the SG Clean initiative is aimed at boosting confidence among consumers as they go about their daily activities.
Noting that the coronavirus has now been declared a global pandemic, he said Singapore is closely monitoring the situation and prepared to implement additional measures if needed.
The SG Clean quality mark was launched last month for hawker centres and food stalls.