The challenge facing horeca environments: socialising safely
Travel is likely to be one of the experiences that we have missed the most during lockdown. Now, however, the improving situation is allowing for borders to reopen and the tourist industry to be kickstarted back to life - just in time for the good weather and the holidays - so we can enjoy terraces and restaurants in good company.
The time is coming to put the safety requirements required for new hospitality spaces to the test, characterised by the continuous transit of people and by the time spent between diners, guests and other customers.
Some time ago, hotels stopped being just somewhere to sleep and started offering different spaces where guests, whether they were spending the night or not, could work, meet, talk, or simply relax. Hospitality spaces are already designed for multifunctional use and now need to be adapted to the new health requirements.
With this post-COVID-19 stage in mind, hotels have to adapt to this "new normal" and implement specific measures. From floor markings for waiting areas in front of reception desks to Actiu's new range of self-supporting panels that are easy to install and clean.
Not forgetting the transversal spaces, those places in hotels, airports, leisure centres or commercial premises where uses are intermingled to create a new user experience. These are common spaces converted into collaborative spaces that will have to adapt to the new situation. Inspired by concepts such as co-working and co-living, lobbies provide experiences and are committed to fostering socialisation between users. Now, they must also ensure the safety of their health.
Visually delimiting the flow of people in these spaces and having different entrances and exits is a good way to reduce personal contact and reducing waiting times through online management, together with specific disinfection and hygiene measures, is a good way to reduce close contact between people. It is also a good idea to choose mobile options so that the layout of the space can be changed according to the needs at any given time, as these environments require versatility.
In soft seating spaces, it has become necessary to limit use and control capacity, as well as to rearrange the furniture to ensure social distancing measures are respected. Using biodegradable covers or cleaning seats every time they are used is another way to reinforce safety in these social and collaborative spaces. These are spaces that can still be used as they were intended to be, thanks to easily movable solutions such as Bend, Noom or Badminton, with a wide range of upholstery with different cleaning options, including some that were made from antibacterial materials in the first place.
It is important to come up with solutions that can make the most of the available space and take full advantage of outdoor areas.
Actiu is committed to ergonomic and easy-to-clean furniture such as the Wing, Whass, Viva, Plek and the new Noom 50. With a wide variety of colours and finishes, most are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as being stackable or foldable. With easy to disinfect materials such as polypropylene and polyurethane, they take up little space when not in use.
Choose multi-purpose furniture, that offers a dynamic approach to adapting the design of spaces to suit your needs, adhering to social distancing measures, and installing screens where necessary, will enable hotels and restaurants to operate under new health and safety regulations, serving their guests and visitors with the same warmth and customer service as always.
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