Lifestyle

Is It Safe to Stay in a Hotel During COVID-19? Here's What the Experts Have to Say

The winter is a great time to satisfy wanderlust by jetting off to warmer climates and getting away from the cold, but during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people are asking themselves just how safe traveling is right now, especially with new variants like delta and omicron spreading rapidly. But if you do decide to get on a plane or even drive somewhere for a getaway, how safe is it to stay in a hotel?

“As with any public place, there are transmission risks in hotels,” Andria Rusk, research assistant professor specializing in global health and infectious disease at Florida International University’s College of Public Health & Social Work, tells POPSUGAR. “This risk comes from interacting with fomites — objects or surfaces that are likely to carry infection — or interacting with infected people. The risk in a hotel environment could come from interacting with hotel employees, such as front desk staff or housekeeping staff, or with other hotel guests.”

The risk is elevated especially in the hotel’s high-traffic, shared public spaces, like public restrooms, fitness centers, business centers, and marketplaces or dining areas. Any high-touch surfaces — such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, ink pens for signing hotel agreements, pool railings, and stair banisters — also pose an elevated risk.

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