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Karabinchak & McKnight Bill to Require DOH to Establish Sanitization Guidelines or Hotels, Protects Hotel Workers Clears Assembly

 Measure Aims to Build Public Confidence in Hotel Industry, Safety of Hotel Workers & Industry As State Works to Reopen

Ensuring hotels are implementing proper sanitization standards to limit the spread of COVID-19, a bill sponsored by Assembly members Robert Karabinchak and Angela McKnight was approved by the full Assembly Thursday, 51-26-3.

To ensure compliance with the health standards, the bill (A-4131) would require the Department of Health to issue regulations and the Bureau of Housing Inspection to conduct inspections.  The measure contains directives for the hotel cleaning protocol; however, it would allow Department of Health flexibility to develop the most appropriate directives to protect public health as the pandemic evolves.

“As the State reopens and workers return to their jobs, we must ensure the staff is prepared with the proper training and understand Department of Health protocols,” said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “The hotel industry will need the support from State departments during these unprecedented times. When it is safe to do so, we want consumers to feel comfortable in booking their hotel rooms and know we are doing all we can to ensure their safety.”

“Hotel employees must feel safe when returning to work. Consumers using hotels should feel confident they are maintaining certain standards for cleanliness and sanitization,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Protecting residents and reducing the spread of COVID-19 will require every industry to take extra care in how they operate their business. It will help encourage consumers, when we are allowed to get back out there, to book their room, and go enjoy the shore or one of many other great attractions in New Jersey.”

New Jersey has 197,058 hotel-supported jobs, and is projected to lose 88,676 hotel-supported jobs through layoffs and furloughs, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.  36,750 of those losses represent hotel workers.

The measure was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 11.