Hyatt today announced that guests who are vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks at properties in the United States. Expect all chains to shortly adapt similar polices, which effectively ends obligatory masks at hotels and resorts across the USA and allows anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers an easy pass under an “honor system” in which vaccination status will not be checked.
Hotels Shift To “Honor System” For Mask Wearing
Hyatt’s updated mask guidance now states:
- At all Hyatt hotels in the U.S., guests who are unvaccinated are required to wear face masks or coverings in hotel indoor public areas, as well as outdoors where social distancing is not feasible
- Hyatt colleagues at U.S. hotels are required to wear face masks or coverings indoors, and fully vaccinated colleagues working outdoors, who are not in close contact with others, are not required to wear face coverings.
- All hotels are required to follow state and local requirements, if stricter than what is recommended by the CDC.
- In all other countries across the Americas region, all guests are still required to wear face masks or coverings in hotel indoor public areas and when moving around in outdoor areas
In short, people who do not want to wear masks, will stop wearing masks. People who refuse to be vaccinated can still get away with not wearing masks by claiming they have been vaccinated.
No one will verify their vaccination status. No questions will be asked.
Is this insanity? Or is this simply the acceptable cost of dealing with outliers who will always resist conventional wisdom?
The good news is that those who have been vaccinated are protected from those who lie about their vaccination status. Furthermore, the idea of permanent masks was unsettling. As the vaccine is now widely available, even for walk-up appointments in the USA, loosening obligatory masks was appropriate and I will not be wearing masks in hotels any more unless those around me feel more comfortable or local ordinances require it.
While young people are less prone and more resilient to COVID-19, those under 12 cannot be vaccinated so the selfish behavior of anti-vaxxers does put them at elevated risk.
Over 60% of Americans have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Those fully vaccinated are over 40%. Hopefully those numbers will continue to grow. Reflecting that trend and new CDC analysis, hotels are eliminating mask requirements for vaccinated travelers, but doing so on the honor system. I don’t see a better way that balances privacy and practically (CDC vaccination cards can also be very easily forged). But be aware: it is virtually certain not all of those who stop wearing masks will be vaccinated.
Is the “honor system” the only reasonable alternative to permanent mask mandates in hotels?