Recently, I decided to take a mid-week trip to Lisbon. I was already in Portugal, so there was no need to look at flights or travel insurance. I mainly just needed a place to stay.
When booking a hotel, my main focus is normally price. This time, however, I was more interested in cleanliness. Specially, I was interested in finding a hotel or Airbnb that had been awarded Turismo de Portugal’s Clean & Safe seal of approval.
The program, which is unique to Portugal, is a hygiene certificate that shows that a company has undertaken the organisation’s hygiene training which is designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The program has been extremely well-promoted across Portugal, and I assumed just about every hotel and business in the tourism industry would have taken the training. I also assumed it would be very easy to find a hotel with the Clean & Safe certificate.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but Booking.com was probably the website that made it easiest.
The only way of knowing is a hotel had specifically taken the Clean & Safe training was if they updated their profile picture. Booking.com doesn’t really allow hotel owners to update their own property descriptions.
But, Booking.com does make it easy to see if a hotel, apartment, guesthouse, or hostel is taking precautions against Coronavirus. Hotels that are will have the following message in their profile: “In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), additional safety and sanitation measures are currently in effect at this property.”
Scroll down to just below the pictures and you’ll see a list of all the measures they’re taking.
Although Airbnb.com gives hosts a lot more flexibility over their profiles, most people hadn’t updated theirs to include information about Clean & Safe or any hygiene measures they were taking against coronavirus.
Turismo de Portugal have actually produced a Clean & Safe website that lists every hotel, restaurant, golf course, and other tourist amenity that have a Clean & Safe logo. Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly given they were able to put it together so quickly) this isn’t as advanced as a normal accommodation website meaning you can’t search for available hotels, check its rating, reviews, or whether it has a swimming pool. All you can do is lookup and see if a hotel has taken the certificate.
One would assume that any hotel or business in the tourism industry will have taken the training, but, then again, you should never assume. Not only will it make an ass out of you and me, but there’s a chance you could end up catching Covid-19 too.
If you want to be certain, Booking.com is probably the easiest site to use.