Senate sends Governor measure to protect guests & employees
TRENTON – Acting to protect the health and safety in one of New Jersey’s most significant sectors of its economy – tourism – the Senate today approved and sent to the Governor a bill sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney that would require the adoption of sanitation standards for hotels to protect against the coronavirus.
The legislation S-2479, would require the Commissioner of Health to set practices and procedures to keep the facilities clean and ensure the confidence of guests and patrons. The protocols would include the sanitization of each hotel in the state.
“These standards will help to balance the need to return to work, and restart the economy with the safety of the workers and guests a priority by codifying CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Hotels are anchor attractions for one of the most significant sectors of New Jersey’s economy, tourism. They should be kept safe and clean for workers and guests.”
The standards would include disinfecting rooms, elevators, surfaces, kitchens, gaming floors and other high-traffic areas, as well as training workers on safe practices. They would also require the continuation of social-distancing standards, including a prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people.
“Hotels are high traffic, high interaction areas, with New Jersey welcoming more than 116 million visitors in 2019,” said Senator Sweeney. “The comeback from the shutdown will be a sustained struggle for the hospitality industry, including hotels. These standards will improve the safety of guests and reassure them of protections.”
The Bureau of Housing Inspection in the Department of Community Affairs would distribute the guidelines developed by the Department of Health and inspect hotels to enforce compliance, according to the bill.
The bill was approved with a Senate vote of 26-13. It was approved by the Assembly earlier today.