Shangri-La, Hilton & the Galle Face Hotel to continue limited operations under strict preventive measures

With the upsurge of COVID-19 positive patients across the Island, many areas of the country have been urged to go under quarantine lockdown. Although Colombo continued to function as usual, with certain compromises and strict health precautions, three leading hotels have issued statements on the threat of COVID-19. They do, however, continue to remain open, following strict health guidelines ensuring the safety of all its staff members and guests.

Statement from Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo

“We were notified on 23 October 2020 that a member of our team has tested positive for COVID-19. As the health and wellbeing of our guests and colleagues are of topmost priority to us and in view of the evolving situation in Sri Lanka, we recently commenced proactive testing of our staff. The affected colleague was asymptomatic and was picked up as a result of proactive testing. The team member is now receiving medical assistance in hospital and we wish our colleague a speedy recovery.

Our colleague’s role does not require any direct guest-facing responsibilities. Contact tracing is currently being conducted and as a precautionary measure, all colleagues who have recently had contact with the affected colleague will self-isolate at home until further notice. None of our colleagues in the hotel has exhibited any outward symptoms, such as fever, in recent weeks.

The common areas and back of house areas of the hotel are also all undergoing another round of thorough sanitisation and disinfection.

Since January 2020, the hotel has stepped up our precautionary measures in view of the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation globally and in Sri Lanka. This includes:

  1. Mandatory temperature screening and recording, wearing a face mask for all our colleagues, guests and vendors.
  2. All guests at point of check-in must complete a health and travel declaration form.
  3. Physical distancing protocols have also been implemented across all public areas of the hotel.
  4. Increased cleaning and sanitising frequency of guest rooms, hotel facilities and all public areas.
  5. Hand sanitisers are readily available in all public and back-of-house areas.
  6. Regular training and reminders for all staff to remain vigilant and to adopt good personal hygiene habits at all times.
  7. Our staff reach out to any guests who appear or claim to be unwell and help them seek medical assistance where necessary.

We will remain vigilant and continue to act accordingly in the best interest of all our employees and guests”. To learn more, visit

– Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo – Spokesperson

Statement from Hilton, Colombo

A Hilton Colombo spokesperson said, “The wellbeing of Hilton Colombo’s guests and Team Members is our highest priority, and we remain diligent in our commitment to provide a safe, hospitable environment for all who visit our properties. We can confirm that one of our Team Members has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Upon detection of possible symptoms, the Team Member was admitted to a designated medical facility and the hotel has taken further precautionary measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

We continue to closely monitor the outbreak and are staying in close communication with the local health authorities. Hilton Colombo has been taking proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our guests and team members and in addition to adhering to relevant guidelines from health authorities, we have also taken preventive steps including the following:

  1. Conducting temperature checks on all team members, guests and visitors of the hotel upon entry.
  2. Conducting briefings and training sessions with all team members to increase awareness and stress the importance of hygiene practices.
  3. Heightening hygiene and sanitation practices for hotel guests and team members including ensuring that all rooms and public areas are treated with anti-bacterial/anti-viral detergents and person-to-person contact is minimised.
  4. Placing anti-bacterial/anti-viral hand sanitizers in all public areas including restaurants, the pool, front desk, restrooms, all team member locker rooms and team member facilities.
  5. Implementing strict advice to all team members to avoid coming into work if they display any symptoms of the virus.
  6. Assisting any guest who displays symptoms of illness or asks for help and coordinating transfers to a designated medical facility if necessary.
  7. Adding glass buffer guards around buffet counters and action stations in restaurants; introduction of digital menus for contactless ordering in outlets.
  8. Limitation of seating capacities to accommodate physical distancing regulations and increased frequency of disinfection in all public areas and restaurants”.
Statement from The Galle Face Hotel, Colombo

“In view of the rapidly growing Peliyagoda Covid-19 cluster caused by an outbreak at the Peliyagoda fish market, the management of the Galle Face Hotel, acting in strict conformity with the guidelines issued by the authorities, have taken immediate measures to subject the staff employed in the Hotel to PCR tests as few of our staff visited the Peliyagoda Fish Market. The concerned staff are currently undergoing self-quarantine at their residences pending the release of test results.

The safety of our employees and guests remains the priority of the Management of the Hotel. Whilst we continue to adhere to strict preventive measures and the local authorities guidelines, pending the results the hotel is subject to limited operations. We extend our sincere gratitude to the health authorities for the guidance and support extended during this challenging time”.

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Author: Anuki Seneviratne
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