Marriott Expands Face Mask Policy For Guests

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

Early last week, Marriott became the first major global hotel group to announce plans to require guests to wear face coverings inside its hotels in the United States. Several weeks prior to that most global hotel chains introduced such policies for employees, but at the time not for guests.

Well, Marriott’s guest face mask policy has now been expanded to more regions.

Marriott requiring guests to wear masks

Since July 27, 2020, Marriott has been requiring guests at all US properties to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces. This policy has now been expanded, and also applies to all properties in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Here’s a video message from Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson early last week announcing this development:

This follows newly published recommendations from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), which has created a “Safe Stay Guest Checklist.” Not surprisingly, we’ve seen most other major hotel groups, including Hyatt and IHG, introduce similar policies.

This is a fantastic development, and in my opinion was overdue. We know that face coverings help slow the spread of coronavirus, and it’s a small way we can do our part to stop the spread while still trying to go about our everyday lives.

Hopefully hotels do a decent job with enforcing this new requirement. However, given the lack of enforcement I’ve witnessed with hotel employees wearing masks, I’m not sure I’m that optimistic. Then again, as mask usage becomes more widely accepted in general, maybe this will extend to hotels as well.

The AHLA’s new coronavirus checklist

As mentioned above, this development from Marriott follows the AHLA’s recently published new guest checklist, intended to show how guests can travel safely while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide. This checklist includes the following:

  1. Require face coverings in all indoor public spaces and practice social distancing in all common areas
  2. Choose contactless options, where available, including online reservations, check-ins, and payments
  3. Consider daily room cleaning, only if necessary; ask the hotel about your options
  4. Request contactless room service delivery
  5. Refrain from traveling if you have, or recently had, any symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19

Bottom line

Since July 27, Marriott has been requiring guests in the US to wear face masks whenever indoors in public areas. This policy has now been extended to all properties in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

What do you make of Marriott’s new guest mask requirement?

Comments
  1. Any hotel guest not wearing a mask should be forced to remove all their clothes and strip naked in public spaces

  2. Great initiative. I was in 2 Courtyards this week (NY and PA) and masks were a requirement in both. It’s such a no brainer.

  3. Good, and hopefully there we be penalties for refusal to comply. Confiscation of Bonvoy points and banning from the specific property would be a good start. Now, how to compel compliance for employees?

  4. Just stayed at the Santa Ynez Marriott this past weekend for a wine tasting trip. They were already enforcing mask wearing (probably due to CA and SB County regulations). Lots of signs all over the hotel and staff were really friendly. No issues, drama or problems with guests not wearing masks. This hotel is lucky to have lots of open space. Breakfast outside or delivered as room service for no extra charge. Also used for dinner.

  5. As a Titanium elite (and former SPGer), I’m glad that Marriott is taking this step. And, like @GoAmtrak said, I would be completely supportive of it if Marriott did extend penalties for refusal to include confiscation of Bonvoy points, status, property bans, (maybe a ban from all Marriott hotels for the duration of the pandemic). If we see employees who aren’t complying, we should report those employees to both the property and the corporate office so that the incidents can be tracked and hopefully Marriott will have something in place to identify properties that are repeat offenders and can hold them accountable through their brand standards.

  6. The US is slowly realizing that masks do save lives. Unfortunately not all but it helps. Sadly it has taken 143,000+ deaths to start understanding the severity of the virus.

  7. I don’t think Marriott is the first. There were some complaints about Hilton requiring masks in Europe (!) with employees being desperate because it happened in locations where literally no one wears masks (e.g. Nordics and Baltics) but they claimed that corporate rules require it. They essentially had to force their customers to go buy a mask (sometimes late at night) in order to be able to use their booking. So Marriott is definitely not the leader here.

  8. I hope they can make their staff wear masks. At a Marriott property in South Bend, IN the staff took a vote and determined they would not wear masks!! I was shocked!

  9. How about a picture of a guest or an employee not wearing the mask (except when they’re obviously eating with social distancing) = discipline or penalty?

    Enforcement needs to be tough and ubiquitous to have a serious effect.

  10. The latest entity to bow down to the false idol. Obviously, this requirement must only apply to guests that are infected with COVID-19. Asking a non-infected person to wear a mask to prevent the spread is nothing more than COVID theater.

  11. @Chad

    That’s great, we’ll follow your suggestion as soon as you present the world with an instant diagnosis for asymptomatic COVID cases. Until then, kindly take your idiotic view point back to your cave.

  12. Ben, warum bloggst du nicht auch auf Deutsch? Es wäre sehr interessant für das deutschsprachige Publikum :))

  13. I stayed at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas last week and the mask police were out in full force. EVERYONE, including staff, guests, and gamblers were wearing masks. The front desk agents even sanitized the counter after serving each guest. Those that weren’t were not allowed into the hotel or casino. The hotel handed out masks and hand sanitizer in the rooms, too. Even outside on the strip in 100+ temperatures I didn’t see any person who wasn’t wearing a mask.

    Good for Vegas and the Cosmopolitan. Now if only get the rest to the nation would comply with what in essence is a very simple safety precaution.

  14. I work front desk at a hotel. I wear a mask my entire shift – so does everyone at our property. I would say 50% of our guests wear one. I can’t imagine the fights this is going to cause if minimum wage hotel employees are expected to enforce this rule – we already see the videos of what takes place on airplanes and at Costco when customers don’t want to wear masks (they whip out their phones and start scream about how their constitutional rights are being attacked. This behavior is disgusting and these people are just as illogical as someone who thinks it’s their constitutional right to drive drunk. But it’s a bit much to ask $10/hour staff to enter these confrontational situations with these kinds of customers)…

  15. @Chad

    The test is neither instant, highly accurate, proven nor available in infinite quantities. The fact that you don’t understand any of that shows your ignorance. Also when you claim something exists, you need to be able to cite evidence rather than just declaring it to be true.

  16. I find it so difficult to understand why people feel so violated by being forced to wear a mask. Does anyone fight as hard against the traditional “No Shoes. No Shirt. No Service” policy? How is a mask policy any different.

  17. They will hopefully
    backtrack on this policy.
    Let us hope that other hotel groups won‘t follow, we live in a free state and it should be up to the individual if he wants to cover his face. If people are not confident to travel with other people around them, they should stay at home.

  18. @David

    Have you never heard of an Antigen Test?!? Results are quite accurate and available in less than one hour. If you want even more certainty go for a Rapid Molecular Test. This variant is extremely accurate and results can still be had in a matter of hours. Do your homework, read some articles, and learn more about the science. Stay abreast of the latest developments with both the CDC and the FDA and you’ll come out a little bit smarter.

    I suppose next you’ll be complaining about lack of access to testing sites or some other nonsense.

  19. They should probably start requiring this of their staff. I have to a number of Marriott properties and have seen many staff without a mask or it pulled down etc.

  20. @iflyfar – because our dear leader has made mask wearing political and those of us Americans with only half of a brain and can only focus on god, guns and gays choose to side with him.

  21. The fact that businesses have to make this a policy to get Karen’s and trumpers to use masks is absolutely pathetic.

  22. @Chad

    First, antigen has a higher chance of a false negative. Second, no one is getting tested everyday, let alone trying to test an entire country like that, nor is there capacity to do. A negative today (even if accurate today) is no guarantee of a negative tomorrow.

    And you’re suggesting an economically and logistically impractical, and scientifically questionable course of action just to avoid the discomfort of wearing a mask.

    Talk about being a whiny child.

  23. This is just woke virtue signaling. It it wasn’t Marriott would have been it effective immediately. I just did four nights at three Marriott properties. Most staff were not wearing masks.

  24. I’m not the first to make this comparison – but it is ironic that the “mask freedom fighters” (aka don’t tread on me…’Murica!) probably have a high statistical correlation with being pro-life on the abortion debate (aka the government has a damn right, even a mandate, to control a woman’s body and her choices)

  25. “We know that face coverings help slow the spread of coronavirus”
    This is an unsubstantiated claim, at best, and a lie, at worst. It’s a shame to see a BoardingArea blogger and a very much respected colleague of mine to go on promoting these ideas. There are no bias-free studies confirming that masks work.

  26. I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel this past weekend and half the guests were not wearing masks indoors, even in hallways. Heck, there was even a wedding on resort property on Saturday. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable staying at a Marriott again until this mandate takes into effect and is actually enforced.

  27. @ MJ – that’s an Orange County problem. Google “Solving the Mask Problem in Huntington Beach.” 🙂

  28. It’s so dumb for hotels to even getting involved with this… all they are going to do is piss off people that don’t want to wear a mask. The people that are willing to wear a mask really ought to realize that they shouldn’t be traveling anyways (unless they are hypocrites thinking that their dollar store masks from China are going to do any good). On top of that, the companies will end up in lawsuits over ADA compliance (full disclosure… I’m a disability attorney and we have been slam busy with all of the cases that we haven’t gotten the last couple months mainly from companies requiring masks). Those cases will not end up cheap, I can GUARANTEE that from experience!

  29. BTW Bravo Marriott (something I haven’t said in ages)! I would have expected them to be last among the major chains on this issue.

  30. Cariverga has a point, and it shouldn’t be brushed off – escape your groupthink!!! Any study conducted this year can’t be trusted due to bias. Here’s an excerpt from a previous study. It appears that a FITTED N95 may help, but nothing else will. Test is from a hospital study. Bias is an incredible monster, and you should continue to fight it.

    “N95 respirators conferred protection against confirmed SARS-CoV infection in 2 of 3 case-control studies [32, 33]; no protective effect against SARS was reported for disposable [29, 34], cotton [35], or paper [32] masks (Appendix B, Table 2).“

  31. @UA-NYC,

    “…it is ironic that the “mask freedom fighters” (aka don’t tread on me…’Murica!) probably have a high statistical correlation with being pro-life on the abortion debate (aka the government has a damn right, even a mandate, to control a woman’s body and her choices).”

    What’s ironic is that you don’t agree with “My Body My Choice” not to wear a mask… Would it be different if the government told all women that wearing bra’s restricts the ability to breathe and therefore causes a higher potential for contracting Covid-19, so the Government mandate is no more bras for woment (or men, not that there’s anything wrong with that). Bra wearers would be shamed and fined…

  32. guys there is a loophole for people who are eating a drinking. I carry around a bag of cookies all day. I made one cookie last 3 hours! haha

  33. “We know that face coverings help slow the spread of coronavirus”

    Actually, we don’t. We do know it certainly isn’t working in California, that just had it’s worst day of new infections despite strict mask rules.

    If I am concerned about infection, I’ll wear a face shield that also protects my eyes from entry of the virus through the tear ducts.

  34. Why are these anti-maskers still allowed to post? They’ve been wrong every step of the way, while the bodies are piling up and the economy is tanking. The international credibility of the USA is also going down the drain.

    Enforce your own commenting guidelines and remove those commenters. There is about as much disagreement about wearing masks in the medical and science community as there is disagreement about climate change.

  35. I think Sel, D. may be misunderstanding the benefit of wearing a cloth mask — it’s not to protect the wearer against the virus but to protect others close to the wearer from respiratory droplets that may contain the virus.

    But his admonition to avoid group think is something the crowd of anti-maskers should pay attention to

  36. @Sel, D.
    Everybody who has access to Google, thinks they are a medical expert.

    Your unsupported assertion that all recent studies ‘can’t be trusted due to bias’ is a statement without foundation. Especially since the more recent studies actually deal with the current virus instead of its predecessor.

    I am prepared to believe what people with appropriate scientific knowledge recommend. They know more about this than I, even though I have a Google account, and a computer.

    What masks do is inhibit the spread/transmission of droplets and aerosolised particles that can contain the virus.

    Masks in all cases need to be worn properly, and although N95 masks or similar are best, triple layer cloth masks provide some protection – reducing spread by around 70% according to some reports – better than nothing.

    My view is that anything I can do that will actually or potentially reduce the spread of this virus within my community, I will do. Self protection is part of this, but more importantly is the protection of all the people I don’t know. And that includes being vaccinated if an effective one emerges.

  37. @1kBrad who says:
    “We know that face coverings help slow the spread of coronavirus. Actually, we don’t. We do know it certainly isn’t working in California, that just had it’s worst day of new infections despite strict mask rules.”

    When people congregate closely and ignore masking, as is happening in many places especially SoCal, then the virus spreads.

  38. The anti-mask people here just have some of the LOWEST IQ

    @1KBrad is basically saying that when strict mask rule is applied today, then suddenly there’s gonna be lower cases the very same day (or the next few days). Pls use some basic children common sense.

    To other anti-mask people, in highly congested cities like Tokyo, where lockdown was never implemented, cases are still few and in between. But sparsely populated suburban places in the US have been severely impacted. Don’t say US is testing more, they don’t. Plus positive rates are some of the highest in the world. Unless you argue Westerners have highly sophisticated genes that are making them more susceptible to Covid-19:)

  39. @Kevin – there are a number of stupid/racist/anti-science/trolling comments on this site…your hypothetical situation comparing women wearing bras to the mask effort to fight Covid is one of the dumbest yet.

  40. There is literally no real scientific debate about masks.

    Go look up Harvard’s masking policy.
    Go look up Stanford Medicine’s “Stanford scientists on COVID-19 mask guidelines”.
    Go look up John Hopkin’s FAQ on masks.
    Just go look at ANY esteemed medical or research institute in the US (and other countries) and there is a clear consensus.

    The anti-maskers should simply be called anti-intellectual at this point.

  41. Was at the Portland Mariott yesterday and there were signs stating that masks must be worn in all common areas. They even placed 6′ long tables in front of the check in desks to make sure we kept our distance from the front desk staff. That was fine but I am enrolled in their Bon Voyage program and checked in online and was advised Id have a key emailed to me so I could download to my phone but that never happened. Still had to drop by the front desk first. But it was fine.

  42. From New England Journal of Medicine: Universal Masking in Hospitals…: … “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.” https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372 . About 150,000 people die worldwide everyday and in USA “covid” deaths are primarily elderly people in Nursing homes/ long term facilities. Why treat Marriott hotels like being in a hospital where you expect sick patients?

  43. @jk:

    “@1KBrad is basically saying that when strict mask rule is applied today, then suddenly there’s gonna be lower cases the very same day (or the next few days). Pls use some basic children common sense.”

    I said no such thing. What was that about IQ?

    Both California and New York City have had stringent mask requirements in place for WEEKS yet their infection rates are spiking. How can that be if masks are required and, for the most part, worn?

    Could it possibly be that masks are not effective? Funny how no one can cite to study showing that the common masks being worn, usually improperly, are helpful.

    Sorry, I am not going to just accept a bunch of people saying we should wear them with no evidence they are actually effective against COVID-19.

    @UA-NYC:

    “there are a number of stupid/racist/anti-science/trolling comments on this site”

    Mirror?

  44. 1KBrad.

    While I understand what you’re saying, I take argument with the idea that Californians are complying with the mask order.

    In the past 24 hours, while walking my dogs and running in my neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, I’ve encountered over 50 people over a total of 1 1/2 hours who were out without a mask on.

    Yes I understand there’s a state wide and city wide mandate, but it seems many of my neighbors just can’t be bothered when out for a jog or walking with their kids or pets.

    It’s typically not difficult to stay away from people, especially when I’m with my dogs, but at this point it seems particularly inconsiderate. One of my neighbors had coronavirus back at the beginning of June, tested positive, etc. He still wears a mask almost all the time outside the house so that people feel comfortable.

    In addition to the mask issue, my neighbors behind us have large get togethers every weekend, the kind with lots of people who don’t all live there. It seems a lot of people share the attitude that they know better than the health experts and will just selectively apply the rules to themselves. I figure if it’s happening in my residential area of the city, it’s happening city-wide, and not to mention friends of mine who live in Dallas and Atlanta who are out at bars and clubs, no mask, no distancing, partying and drinking.

    Again I understand your opinion, I just disagree. If I had seen anything approaching 90% mask wearing here in LA I would be skeptical of the effectiveness as well, but I barely see 90% of people wearing masks at LAX at this point.

  45. @1KBrad: “Sorry, I am not going to just accept a bunch of people saying we should wear them with no evidence they are actually effective against COVID-19”

    I suspect you’re familiar with Alex Berenson and his anti-mask crusade. The author of the study that he cites about masks rejects his conclusion.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/19/business/media/coronavirus-contrarians-lockdowns-masks.html

    “Last week, Mr. Berenson gleefully tweeted about a study he framed as discrediting mask use. . . . I found the study confusing, and emailed its lead author, C. Raina MacIntyre. ‘We do not recommend cloth masks for health workers, but believe a protective cloth mask for the community is possible if some basic design principles are followed,’ she said. Mr. Berenson had swept the researcher into his anti-mask campaign. But she had been studying medical masks for keeping health care workers safe, and the paper showed that cloth masks did not work nearly as well as medical masks in protecting those workers. It had not addressed the reason that Americans are now being asked to wear masks — to protect others. In fact, Ms. MacIntyre co-wrote a paper in April backing the use of masks to stop community spread.”

    You seem intelligent, as is Berenson, yet you both ignore vast majority of public health officials and cherry-pick data to support your positions. What gives? I suspect there’s an emotional basis for your reaction. At this stage of the pandemic, you will not have a double blind control study on the efficacy of cloth masks in protecting against covid-19. If that’s what will persuade you to wear a mask, you never will. At a minimum, I trust you recognize the value in social distancing.

  46. @1KBrad LOL, well said.

    As I read the comments, I notice the number of self-important faux-experts here to perform the service of a trolling Karen, yet somehow they all think the other guy is the trolling Karen.

    So much for OMAAT being a travelblog.

    As for the efficacy of masks, I won’t pretend to be an expert. I will simply suggest readers go to Google, look up Iceland’s requirements to fight coronavirus, look up how well Iceland has stomped out coronavirus, and then decide for yourself.

  47. @Joseph N.

    You mean the same Iceland that requires all travelers to wear a mask on the flight there?

  48. During June we stayed at a Marriott property by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota..Majority of their guest are Clinic patients and their families with vulnerable conditions who need to take utmost precautions. The hotel was a medical disappointment–masks were not required in public areas, we never observed any sanitizing in public spaces or rooms where people checked out, hotel hot spots were not cleaned as pledged, social distancing measures taken by the hotel were bare bones minimal. No hand sanitizer in lobby area. At the Clinic we networked with a couple who were staying at another Marriott property very close to the
    Cinic. They claim their hotel was not clean and they switched to a non chain property that was clean and practiced social distancing.
    Marriott needs action and not just promotional pledges.

  49. @1KBrad

    ONLY UNIVERSAL MASK WOULD WORK, B/C MASK IS TO PROTECT OTHERS. IF THOSE WHO ARE INFECTED (asymptomatic) FAILS TO WEAR THEM, IT WILL NOT STOP THE SPREAD.

    NY has significantly improved, though of course, a good percentage of Americans are still too dumb and separated to have common sense. E.g. The Astoria gathering party with no masks.

    Just look at Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, HK, and all of China and Vietnam. 100% Mask. Pls look at their results.

  50. @1KBrad

    Better yet. Tell me, aside from universal masks, what happened in Asia but didn’t happen in the US? Maybe they secretly had a hidden vaccine 😀

  51. There are countries that managed pandemic extremely well without masks (e.g. Iceland, Denmark, Norway) and countries that have terrible numbers despite omnipresent masks. From all the data we have, general masking doesn’t seem to be the key.

    New scientific knowledge also suggests that for spread to occur you need close and/or long contact. You are not gonna get infected by walking around someone on the street or in a supermarket aisle. All the superspread events that have been documented happened in packed, poorly ventilated spaces with lots of physical activity (e.g. factories, mines, clubs).

    Some European authorities already reflect this by updating their rules to only require masks in specific settings, where spread’s very likely. Hotel corridors would definitely not be such place.

    The problem is that in the US, mask use became a political issue and at that point it’s “all or nothing” with insults being used instead of arguments and at that point any reasonable solution becomes unlikely. Now it’s all about who screams louder.

  52. @1KBrad @JK
    Also, take note that Taipei, Seoul, HK never really locked down. Tokyo had some sort of lockdown but not close to being as severe as Europe or the US. Most of Asians never had our restaurants, bars, clubs, or even churches closed down. Only difference was Asians all wore masks – and most of east Asia is are now fully in control. Korea has around 50 cases daily, Taiwan has a couple new cases (all of them international arrivals), and so on. Taiwan is basically business as usual now, and Korea/China are close to business as usual.

  53. @Samo
    I wouldn’t call any of Iceland, Norway, or Denmark a country that called coronavirus “extremely well”. They were better than some of the worst offenders(Brazil/UK/US all of whom were prominently anti-mask) but Denmark and Iceland had far higher infection rate compared to world average – and Norway had similar figures to world average.
    I also don’t see countries that have terrible numbers despite omnipresent masks(which I understand to be China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam – none of which have infection rate anything close to the world average).
    You succeeded in sounding calm but your skill at verifying facts can use quite some improvements.

  54. One other point about mask wearing in California – much of the spike seems to correlate to bars reopening, which is of course a venue that people can’t wear masks for much of the time. They have since closed bars again, and because cases can lag ~14 days, it would naturally take a while to see an increase.

  55. Man I love reading these anti-mask comments, I’m just hoping that more of these people get sick and hopefully spread it. Just more money to be made off of their stupidity. A little morbid, but this is how you need to react if you want to deal with these types.

  56. @cariverga it’s a shame to see a fellow BA blogger so completely at ease with displaying incredible ignorance. The very basic laws of physics dictate that a nose and mouth covering will stop some droplets from escaping past the barrier and reduce the distance that other droplets travel. Will it stop all? No, probably not. Will it reduce spread? Definitely. There is no argument against this, it’s fact. Try coughing/sneezing at a mirror with and without a mask and observe the difference for yourself.

  57. Also, to add to what Ziggy said, which is obviously true. Let’s say you believe the evidence isn’t conclusive regarding masks working–that doesn’t make the inverse true. There is also no evidence that says definitively that wearing masks is pointless. So is it really that big of a burden for you to wear a mask in (indoor) public spaces, on the chance that it works? Or are you that stubborn and/or selfish?

    This whole debate is really quite fascinating to me because it just shows how many selfish people there are that refuse to accept a relatively minor inconvenience if it might benefit the greater good.

  58. Huge amount of selfish people on this site.
    Lets assume that maybr masks offer little to no protection, and that there are no studies which can confirm or deny their effectiveness.

    In any case, is wearing mask that difficult? Seems to me that the logical argument is “Will doing something very small not that invasive will protect others?” Best case scenario is yes. Worse cade scenario is that you have to wear a simple face covering. Will that really hurt? Alot of you already wear baseball caps. Just add a mask to the ensemble. At worst, it does nothing, at most it helps saves lives further down the line.
    I assume most of the people arguing are people who have difficulty breathing due to massive overweight problems or are constantly running marathons.

  59. Interesting comments. I think if you are afraid of contracting Covid19 you should also avoid non-essential travel. It doesn’t make sense to go to a wine tasting event, to gamble in Las Vegas, etc. and then complain about how deadly Covid19 is and how careful you should be. Traveling to a hotel for vacation or a weekend getaway isn’t like going to get food at the grocery store. I know some of us have to travel for essential work but the rest of you that are traveling for fun are endangering our lives. Wear a mask when out but stay home.

  60. owh well only in the usa. And We are not allowed entry anyways… So I don’t have to cancel my stays here in europe.

  61. @Ziggy

    It is a scientific fact that masks can help reduce the outward projection of droplets and particulates. However, this does not guarantee it will slow the spread of a virus.

    You state, Will it reduce spread? Definitely. There is no argument against this, it’s fact. This being the case, can you explain the math, physics, or logic that shows how this is the case for an individual that is not infected with SARS-CoV-2? An unmasked, uninfected person already has a 0.0% probability of spreading the virus. How can donning a mask suddenly reduce this to below zero? You’re suggesting that if an uninfected person wears a mask, the spread will become negative and, therefore, transcend into a cure? I think you need to find a better argument.

    So, for all the pro-maskers, here are two important point to consider.

    1. There are, in fact, hundreds of millions of people that are not infected with COVID-19. Is it really fair to indiscriminately label them as stubborn and/or selfish because they prefer not to wear a mask? As @Chad puts it, for these people, this really is just COVID theater. Obviously, where masks are required, they should be worn by all. This is no different than mandating shoes or shirts. Marriott can require all staff and guests to wear beanies, if they so desire. After all, what’s so hard about wearing a beanie?!? Is wearing a beanie that difficult? As @Bob might argue: There is also no evidence that says definitively that wearing beanies is pointless. So is it really that big of a burden for you to wear a beanie in (indoor) public spaces, on the chance that it works?

    2. Improperly worn masks can actually increase the spread of a virus. From the comments on this blog, it is clear that many see masks as a panacea. Masks are routinely used and then reused without proper sanitization. Masks are frequently worn only over the mouth and not also the nose. Masks are frequently touched and adjusted with unclean hands. Masks often encourage people to congregate under a false sense of security, to feel safer than they otherwise truly are. If society becomes too comfortable with masks, the drive and desire to seek out alternative, more effective strategies or a vaccine (aka a real cure) might start to abate.

  62. @Roger

    Can you anti-mask people simply answer the question of what did Asian do differently to handle the virus aside from universal masks?

  63. @Roger

    I think you’re perhaps overlooking something with your argument? Yes, an uninfected person will not spread the virus if they are or aren’t mask….well there is a surprise! Given the high numbers who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and the lack of convenient and readily available testing, how can you know for certain that you are not infected?

    I find it so amusing how many people spend so much time focusing on an irrelevant point…is there a definitive study, etc and ignore the bigger picture.

  64. @Jk

    Of course. Asian countries’ handling of the virus has been different in the following ways:

    1. For countries accustomed to already wearing masks as a fashion statement or to combat excessive pollution, the population of those countries is already well-versed on proper mask wearing procedures. Simply put, in Asian countries, masks are worn much more correctly than in those countries not yet accustomed to their regular use. This results in more effective containment where the virus does exist.

    2. Over the past several decades, Asian countries have had much greater exposure to and circulation of SARS-like viruses and other coronavirus strands. This exposure has created Asian immune systems that are much more resilient to the current SARS-CoV-2 threat. This is basic Virology 101.

    3. In south Asian countries, more specifically, testing per capita has been much lower than in places like the UK or the US. Fewer tests means fewer reported cases, which means an overinflated perception of the proper handling of this virus. It won’t be long, for instance, until India becomes the next hotspot. What will be the argument in favor of Asian countries then?

  65. @Mark

    Simple. Conduct a RT-PCR molecular test on your immune system prior to going out! Failing that, quarantine for two weeks prior to going out and couple this with an antigen test. Once you’ve confirmed that you do not possess the virus, you’re free to go out and about your business without the need for a mask. This is the scientifically sound response to managing a virus.

  66. @Roger
    A lot of fake and unreasonable stuff being posted here.
    1. So, the US should also adopt the same measures – wear masks PROPERLY, and get population accustomed to wearing masks. No excuse for Americans sitting still, letting the Coronavirus infect everyone (which, at this pace, is going to happen long before first vaccine arrives.)
    2. Virology 101: The SARS-CoV-2 is different strain than SARS-Cov in 2003. So the immune system for the latter does not defend against the former.
    3. India would have been named “the next hotspot” already if it were not for the USA. The infection number is climbing really fast. During March and April, media (mostly in Asia) were publishing reports on India, questioning why India stays mostly coronavirus-free even when the country does not do anything. Now we are seeing the result of doing nothing, although very late. And when we talk about Asian countries that handled the coronavirus well, we are talking about those in East Asia (Taiwan, Korea, China, HKG, and to some extent, Japan). South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) is off the table here.
    4. RT-PCR molecular test takes at least a couple hours (in best case scenario – assuming the sample gets transported to the lab immediately and gets tested immediately – which simply does not happen in the US) to get result. Not something we can do everytime prior to going out – and we need to get to hospital to take the test anyway.
    And on “quarantine for two weeks prior to going out and couple this with an antigen test” – let’s substitute “antigen test” which is not yet something officials recognize with “PCR test” and this is close to what most of Europe and New Zealand did and kind of worked. US tried and messed up, for obvious reasons. Looking at the anti-maskers, we will probably see a lot of “essential travels” out of home – comprising mainly of drinking at a bar (“essential emotional support”), dining out (“essential food supply”), and so on…It is far easier to mandate mask than two-week or three-week lockdown…and much less intrusive to a person’s freedom too.

  67. @Max
    We’re a free country, and companies have the freedom to require masks.
    If you don’t like it, don’t go to their hotels or fly on their airlines.

  68. @Jay

    Nothing fake and nothing unreasonable.

    Let’s analyze the numbers in consideration of a better alternative. As of today, we have about 616,000 deaths out of approximately 15,000,000 reported cases. This means that 4.1% of known cases have resulted in a fatality which means that 95.9% of case patients survive the virus. One of the greatest arguments in favor of widespread mask wearing is that many are carrying the virus, but are asymptomatic. This means the number of undocumented cases must be significant which means the actual IFR must be substantially less than 4.1%. So, it is safe to state that the actual at-risk population for SARS-CoV-2 is much less than 4.1%.

    With these statistics, then, why pin all our hopes on a face mask panacea that might work vs. establishing regulations on quarantine and social distancing for the <4.1% of the population that is truly at-risk? With this strategy, active cases will grow exponentially, but fatalities will decline to zero. If we add to this a requirement for those infected with SARS-CoV-2 to wear masks and to wear them properly, the rapidness of spread will be reduced significantly as well. Pro-maskers are opting for a blanket solution that cannot guarantee success while diverting attention from an obvious alternative that is highly unlikely to fail.

  69. @Roger – you churn out so many strawman arguments it’s hard to know which one to focus on…but I’ll try this one:

    You said:

    “why pin all our hopes on a face mask panacea that might work vs. establishing regulations on quarantine and social distancing for the <4.1% of the population that is truly at-risk?"

    I therefore ask:

    Other than you, who said or suggested that anyone is pinning all their hopes on face coverings?

  70. @Ziggy

    I don’t know. Maybe every single person that now leaves their home or travels unnecessarily, has never been tested for SARS-CoV-2, but dons a mask religiously as their only line of defense. I’m really just hoping to spark some intelligent debate on the topic as an alternative to all the politicizing and insulting. It’s simultaneously informative and entertaining.

    Anyway, I just watched the Panera Patty video and it alone was enough to convert me to a pro-masker. If that sort of behavior is stereotypically synonymous with an anti-mask sentiment, count me out.

  71. So many here think masks are useless to reduce risk of infection, yet surgeons trust them while doing neonatal heart transplants.

    I am honored to be in the presence of so many geniuses who know more about infection risk and prevention than every surgeon in the world.

  72. I’m currently an employee at the Courtyard by Marriott located in San Diego Downtown. I’m thankful my GM Ms Bess decided masks will be mandatory for our property 2 months ago. All our guests are required to have on a mask. All our guests have been very respectful with our requirements. They are met with valet who have gloves hands sanitizer and masks on, and once in the hotel greeted by every single employee with masks and gloves. Hand sanitizer is every where throughout the hotel. Each employee has designated areas during each shift to wipe all common areas, all tables, elevators, stair rails, furniture, etc. Our Lobby Market has masks for purchase (made by one of our very own employees) and complimentary masks for those in need. It gets challenging at times but we all understand the severity of this virus, each day we dedicate ourselves 100% to ensure ALL Guests and ALL Staff are safe! #weALLhavetodoOURpart #stopthespread #wearamask #stayhomeifyouresick #hershahospitalitymanagement #ourguestsmatter #cymsd

  73. @1KBrad
    “Sorry, I am not going to just accept a bunch of people saying we should wear them with no evidence they are actually effective against COVID-19”

    Yes, you would be foolish to just take the advice on face value from people on the internet, especially on a subject like this. That goes for masks, or against masks.

    Instead, let’s listen to the experts. Practically all leading scientific bodies, scientists and epidemiologists strongly recommend the use of masks. The CDC recommends it. The WHO recommends it. The leading scientific organizations in the UK, France and practically every developed country recommends them. If you think you know better than all the experts or somehow think they all just don’t know what they are doing, then that really is foolish.

    The evidence for masks is not 100% conclusive. AFAIK no expert is saying they are 100% certain that masks reduce the spread. Instead they are saying that there is now so much evidence to strongly suggest that they do, that this is enough to recommend that we wear one – especially when the ONLY possible downside is the very minor discomfort of having a thin piece of cloth over our face.

    https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

  74. @Roger

    Fair enough
    Have you tested yourself today? Your neighbor? Did they get a negative result?

    Do you have a super power that can (with 100% accuracy) tell if you or anyone else does not have the virus?
    Millions of people don’t have the virus.
    Millions do
    Potential millions also have the virus, but have not been tested.
    If you have this super power, then by all means don’t wear a mask, and help the government identify more cases.

    If you do not have this power:

    Wearing a mask reduced the chance of transmission.
    Even your president now said it’s patriotic ;).
    I kindly request that you cover your piehole. I am sure you can do it. I believe in you.
    Watch a youtube tutorial if you are unsure how to wear one. It’s ok, nobody will judge. Nobody that matters that is.

  75. @TheLogicGuy

    Yes, I prefer to rely on regular testing using a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper and lower respiratory specimens.

    Although, like any test, this is not always 100% accurate and negative results do not entirely preclude the existence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Coupled with routine observation for accompanying symptoms, however, the accuracy achievable using this approach greatly exceeds that of the containment reliability provided by even surgical grade masks.

  76. My wife and I are currently staying at The Hotel at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia. This is a Marriott managed hotel. There are signs in the Lobby, Bar and Registration areas of this hotel that state it is “MANDATORY” to wear a mask in these areas. Mandatory must have a different meaning here in Georgia and to the staff of this hotel. 95% of all persons that enter these areas are NOT wearing maskings or covering their face. There were over a 100 individuals in these areas at the same time last evening without masks or face covering. To gain access to the only elevators that took us to floor of our hotel room we had to pass through these areas. When we asked the hotel staff at the Guest Registration desk who was responsible for the enforcement of their Hotel’s stated, written and MANDATORY policy. They shrugged their shoulders. Whether you are for or against masks in a public place. If your Hotel makes the claim that this a MANDATORY policy and you tell someone that masks are required and are MANDATORY to be worn in common areas of your hotel before you book your stay at that hotel. Then your Hotel should enforce this stated policy. SHAME ON THE HOTEL at AVALON and MARRIOTT!

  77. @Tom: Well, it’s pretty obvious. If 95% of guests don’t wear masks, hotel won’t be willing to alieniate them just to satisfy the remaining 5%. It’s common business sense.

    Enforcement of mask is also often a problem because staff usually hate masks the most (since they have to wear them for hours). They are just not willing to go out of their way to enforce something they’re against.

  78. Of course the rates have NOT dropped now that Marriott and all these other hotels have cut amenities and services blaming coronavirus. They aren’t even providing points for no housekeeping at full-service properties.

  79. @Samo

    That’s nice, I hope those same staff won’t be crying when the industry has to resort to more layoffs because COVID is still not under control.

  80. @David
    Lockdowns haven’t put COVID under control. Why would flimsy mask accomplish it?

    Stayed at a Marriott hotel in California last weekend. Neither we nor a few other guests we saw were wearing face masks. The staff didn’t mind.

  81. @David – Well, if the alternative is losing 95% customers right now, then it’s worth a try.

    So far the only place where travel industry seems to be recovering is Europe and that’s precisely because Europeans seem to be accepting the virus is here to stay and we have to live with it. Knowing that I can have a hassle-free experience with all the services I’m used to motivates me to actually take the trip.

  82. Of course Americans are going to educate me on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to COVID.

  83. @Samo

    Yeah totally. I mean, what’s Asia? Just some small, uninhabited continent. They’re totally not basically living normal lives at this point.

  84. @David: “Yeah totally. I mean, what’s Asia? Just some small, uninhabited continent. They’re totally not basically living normal lives at this point.”

    Other than the fact that India still hasn’t suppressed their first wave, and cases in other parts of Asia are starting to increase by levels not seen since late winter.

  85. @Mike

    Yes, the country which has mask compliance issues can’t keep COVID under control, what a surprise. But hey, let’s ignore the fact that even China could get their shit together while US couldn’t even clear the first wave.

    And yet Americans are on here given anti-mask advice and lecturing people on what works. Hilarious.

  86. If Marriott cares so much about what the CDC says then they will eliminate the toiletry dispensers, which are unsafe and spread germs and diseases.

  87. Ben- I must say reading comment section on a rainy Sat afternoon had become a hobby of mine… quite the crew going back and forth. Just wear a mask, chill out, and don’t be an a-hole. Would be amazing if instead of consistent individualism there was a degree of solidarity around the equivalent effect this has on all of us, and anything we can do to make it better would be worth the small gesture of covering ones nose and mouth.

  88. @David – Asia is full of restrictions and lockdowns. There are exceptions, but it’s very different from normal life.

    On the other hand, here in Europe it’s possible to live very normal life in vast majority of EU states. Not even social distancing in most locations.

  89. Like almost all decisions made be large corporations or government organizations, this one is motivated mostly by legal and political concerns. The last thing Marriott wants is a lawsuit from the family of an employee or customer that claims they contracted SARS-CoV-2 at a Marriott property due to gross negligence and then later became seriously ill or died. This is the same story with other hotel chains and airlines. Once the corporation has an official policy on mandatory mask wearing, accountability now shifts to individuals that fail to comply. Now, at best, you have a civil suit against a person vs. one against a corporation with significantly greater means.

    Anyone that seriously believes these mask-wearing policies are being implemented in the name of safety and security is delusional.

    As demonstrated by the recent COVID-19 resurgences in the mask-wearing Meccas of Japan and Hong Kong, masks are incapable of eliminating SARS-CoV-2. When properly worn by infected individuals, can they slow the spread? Of, course. Are they always properly worn and do we unnecessarily force them upon uninfected people? Undeniably, yes.

    But, like a wildfire, slowing the spread does not necessarily result in a commensurate reduction in collateral damage. And, unlike a wildfire, SARS-CoV-2 cannot be so easily escaped or contained (nice try, Australia, but as expected you’re seeing a resurgence now as well). When all the irrationality, hysteria, and, false projections of magnanimity finally subside, we’ll eventually get back to a new normal.

  90. And what about employees. Staying at a Courtyard this weekend in Maple Grove, MN. Many stay wearing their masks UNDER their nose, not over it. Bartender and Breakfast service (neither of which we used) weren’t wearing mask at all, or taking them down to talk.

    Almost all guest I saw (hockey tournament so the place was pretty full) were wearing mask. Best that these companies start to train and enforce proper mask edict to their employees.

    OH. . .and the desk staff on Friday morning was just rude. Do these people not get that us staying means they have a job!

  91. @sunking82 – Hotel employees often work 10+ hours shift. Expecting them to wear masks all the time is equal to torture. It’s simply not gonna happen.

  92. No. I’ve been staying at Vancouver Marriott. Masks not enforced at all. I’ve talked to manager, employees. It’s a joke. No signs, completely not following Washington state requirements

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