Barrow’s newest and biggest hotel has introduced a series of COVID safety measures to allow it to re-open for key workers.
The 127-room Holiday Inn Express opened in December but had to close in March after the government put the country into lockdown.
Now though, after major preparations behind the scenes, the hotel will again be ready for guests from Monday 1 June.
Its general manager Mark Winter said his priority has been to provide a safe, comfortable and friendly environment for the key workers who are putting themselves at risk to serve the local community.
“They’re away from their families and homes and working long days – often in extremely difficult circumstances. We’ve had to make some changes, but they will still benefit from fantastic modern surroundings and the dedication of our professional team, said Mr Winter.
Guests arriving at the Holiday Inn Express will see clear and prominent signs at reception to help them keep social distance. Protective screens have also been installed and, to minimise check-in times, key cards will be put in envelopes so they are ready to collect.
All members of the staff will be wearing personal protective equipment and sanitiser stations have been introduced throughout the building. The hotel’s already thorough cleaning regime has been enhanced, in accordance with World Health Organisation advice, and its specialist housekeeping staff are undergoing special training.
A special grab and go breakfast has been created and self-service lunch, dinner and drinks will all be available.
To help guests, the hotel has produced a video which outlines the measures it has taken. It is available to view at https://vimeo.com/415617911
“We’re in a prominent position in the town centre and when we opened we set out to be a prominent asset to our community, as well as the many people who come to Barrow to work,” said Holiday Inn Express commercial manager Paul Weild.
“For now it’s going to be a bit different at the hotel, but our team remains the same and we’re all excited to get back to work to welcome our regular guests and some new ones as well,” said Mr Weild.
The Holiday Inn Express was built on the site of a former police station in Market Street. It opened on 2 December 2019 and employs 25 people, all recruited from the Barrow area.
There will be reduced staff numbers working when the hotel re-opens on 1 June, but it is hoped more employees can be brought back from furlough as demand grows for accommodation.
The Holiday Inn Express, Barrow-in-Furness, is operated by RBH, the UK’s leading independent hotel management company.