It’s hard to imagine a more tumultuous time in the history of our planet. The rise of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has thrown every sphere of our lives into disarray, and with terms like “social distancing” and “self-isolation” becoming commonplace, we are having to find different ways to go about our daily lives with as little disruption as possible.

It’s unknown exactly how many people’s international dream holidays, weddings or conferences have been disrupted due to this unprecedented event, but all is not lost. According to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group, you can still get away for a much-needed break. “First Group prides itself on its home-from-home-accommodation where guests are afforded the opportunity to enjoy the privacy of self-contained apartments.” Whether you prefer wide open inland country spaces or quiet lazy beaches perfect for soaking up the much-needed health benefits of the South African sun, our self-catering apartments are well suited to accommodate the ever changing needs of guests at this time, whilst our efficient room service is also recommended to minimise gatherings.

“As it has always been, the safety and security of our guests and team remain our highest priority,” Lamont explains. He adds that additional measures have been developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities, including the WHO (World Health Organisation) and CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), SADH (South African Department of Health) and NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases), to ensure that the First Group’s cleaning and hygiene protocols are even more rigorous than before.

According to Lamont, the resort and hotel managers and teams are receiving ongoing briefings and enhanced operating protocols that include:

  • The increased frequency of cleaning of public areas (including lobbies, elevators, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and the continued use of high-grade disinfectant.
  • The adjustment of food and beverage services in accordance with current food safety recommendations.
  • The increased deployment of antibacterial hand sanitisers and wipe stations in common areas.
  • The assurance that all cleaning products used in our resorts, including laundry facilities and pool areas, meet recommended standards of efficacy.
  • The activation of regional and local response teams to provide assistance to their hotels and resorts, so that they’re prepared to act swiftly should there be a case of coronavirus at one of their properties.

“We are trusting that we will be in a position to continue to provide you with accommodation in the safest possible environment around South Africa for the foreseeable future. We believe it is in challenging times like these, that the power of hospitality and caring for our customers is needed most of all, and that you can continue to count on us to unite with you to succeed in overcoming all difficulties,” Lamont concludes.

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