Coronavirus in restaurants: preventive measures to avoid contagion in restaurants and hotels

The coronavirus or Covid-19 has taken up residence in our lives in recent months. It is one of the many viruses of the Coronaviridae family that used to affect mammals such as bats, birds, hedgehogs or pangolins, and that has ended up crossing that border and also affecting humans. The main characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 is its high contagiousness, the total lack of knowledge about its behavior in humans and the presence of common symptoms, such as dry cough, fever or respiratory failure, among other possible symptoms that may or may not be related to the virus, such as loss of smell or taste.

While it is true that the mortality rate of this new coronavirus is 44 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, the main problem we are seeing these days is the saturation of the health system. The virus has spread throughout the country, reaching its peak too quickly. This has made it very difficult for the healthcare system to cope with the number of critical cases in hospitals.

In order to slow down the rate of infection, the Spanish Government has opted for a general confinement of the population in order to slow down the infection curve, which will gradually decrease throughout the month of April. We are now experiencing the result of this confinement and, although the data show hope, we must remain cautious and not relax. In just a few months, we have seen how the virus has managed to close schools, businesses and cancel all kinds of events, as happened with the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress, which was to be held from February 24 to 27, and which ended up being canceled to avoid possible unnecessary contagions.

Preventive measures against coronavirus in restaurants and hotels


As a consequence of Covid-19, hotels and restaurants have suffered a standstill in their activity and are in a position of total uncertainty. Many of the hoteliers do not know for sure how long their business will remain closed or if they will be able to cope with the losses caused by having their shutters down.

Everything seems to indicate that we will have to live with the virus over the years, a situation we have already experienced with the flu. This reason seems to indicate that the virus will completely change the preventive measures carried out in restaurants and hotels to avoid possible rebound of the virus in the autumn and winter months.

The hospitality business will remain closed for months, but, undoubtedly, hoteliers will have to take new preventive measures against coronavirus in restaurants and hotels.

Measures proposed by the Spanish Hotel and Catering Industry to prevent the spread of coronavirus in restaurants

Hostelería de España, a business organization representing a group of more than 270,000 companies in the Spanish hospitality sector, has developed a series of infographics that summarize the most important actions that will have to be taken when the premises resume operations.

Some of these future measures that will have to be carried out are:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of the areas most frequently used by customers.
  • Install dispensers of disinfectant gels for workers and clients.
  • Maintain distances between employees and customers and wash hands with plenty of soap and water frequently.
  • Disinfect crockery and cutlery at temperatures above 80º Celsius.
  • Wash table linen, napkins and work uniforms at a temperature above 60º Celsius.
  • Preserve the food cold chain and keep food physically protected at all times using containers.
  • Limit handling by customers and avoid food sharing.
  • Cooking food at temperatures above 70º Celsius. Coronavirus is not a foodborne disease, but cross-contamination is possible.

These measures are a legacy of the
World Health Organization
and the
Ministry of Health
However, in other countries they recommend some other measures that can be compatible with these others.

Measures proposed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further recommends that:

  • The hand washing process should last at least 20 seconds and should be done with plenty of soap and warm water.
  • Employees should avoid touching their mucous if it has been a long time since they last washed their hands.
  • Employees should sneeze into a disposable handkerchief or into the sleeve at the level of the forearm, never into the hand. If they do so unconsciously on the surface of the hand, it is necessary to wash them again with soap and water.
  • All personnel should be familiar with the hygiene protocol, the chemicals used for disinfection and the frequency with which they should use them.
  • N95, N99 and N95 masks prevent the transmission of coronavirus, so their use is recommended in places with a high number of customers.

When will bars, restaurants and hotels open and what security measures will they take?

It is not unreasonable to think that we will see many of these measures implemented in restaurants and hotels when everything returns to normal.

The rules to be followed by the hospitality sector are not yet known, nor is the date for the reopening of their businesses. Some owners are already taking safety precautions ahead of their longest summer. Their solution has been to redesign, distribute and adapt their restaurant to what awaits us in a few months. Some of them have chosen to install screens between tables to avoid contagion. In addition, several disinfectant gel dispensers have been installed throughout the premises.

Others have had to redesign the layout of their restaurant
restaurant furniture
. With this, they intend to make it a much safer place to attract customers. It is possible that when hotels and restaurants resume operations, they will have to take the temperature of everyone who enters their doors. It is possible that in some locations we may receive a protection kit with masks, gloves or gel.

They estimate that the capacity will have to be reduced considerably, or that the free buffet will disappear from the breakfasts . This can be replaced by another type of breakfast that the client picks up through a delimited circuit. In short, everything necessary to avoid contagion and a new outbreak of the virus.

All of these measures are being studied today, and some of them are ideas that many can implement even without being mandatory, but it is not difficult that we will end up seeing many of them when everything returns to normal.

For the time being, we must be patient, stay at home and bet that everything will be fine.

And remember that we all have to stop this virus.