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Some measures we at THALIAS HOSPITALITY are taking with this COVID-19 situation, including all our outlets: Topaz restaurant , Malis restaurants in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, all our Khéma restaurants in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and Arunreas Hotel .
Lately, I have been receiving several emails and private messages asking for some advises on how to handle the current sanitary and economic crisis. Please let me share here the measures we are taking within Thalias Hospitality Group to weather this ongoing storm.
As we recently observed new cases in Cambodia - which remains the country with one of the lowest number of COVID-19 cases recorded (7 cases at the time I am writing this) - I would like to emphasize the fact that locally we haven’t seen community transmission like we saw in Europe, America and the Middle East yet. So far all of these cases can be traced to some people who have been traveling overseas or to imported cases. Moreover, there are some good news: China is stabilizing and is now sending their trained medical practitioners to Italy to help its health system which is on the verge of collapsing.
Here at home, we must face the reality heads on, we are facing a serious situation too, although the number of new cases is very low.
As per this morning we were informed that travel restrictions have been decreed from countries where the number of cases are spiking. Schools are closing and our children will enjoy early holidays. These are good preventing measures to slow down the spreading of the virus.
However, let’s be realistic, Cambodia like other countries cannot shut itself from the world and we as humans cannot shut ourselves from other humans.
So what else should we do?
The question needs to be asked because COVID-19 will be with us for some time and nobody can predict when it will disappear. We need to learn how to live with it for a while.
At Thalias Hospitality Group we are taking COVID-19 with the upmost seriousness and from today onward we have taken some extra preventive measures that we are adding to the ones we already took in January.
In a nutshell, there are basic habits that we must get used to, like practicing good personal hygiene, adopting new social norms, discouraging large gatherings and generally maintaining some physical distance from one another. That is why we already scaled down some of our activities.
We are taking precautioning measures in our own hands and we call it “Temperature at the door”. From Monday onward we will be checking body temperatures as safety precaution at guest, staff (twice a day) and suppliers’ entrances. Although the World Health Organization clarifies that carriers of the disease may be contagious up to five days before exhibiting symptoms, extra precautions seemed necessary in light of everyone’s concerns.
The tests will be done with the use of a laser thermometer onto people’s foreheads without touching people’s skins. The new policy will begin on Monday, and a clear explanation will be posted on a sign at all our restaurants’ entrances and throughout the outlets’ premises, with further information on how our restaurants will handle imported goods and employees’ health.
Already in place, with good personal hygiene, our staff sanitizes the premises several times per day, twice a day exactly: once after the outlet closes and again before it opens. As part of the Food & Beverage industry, we always followed strict public health guidelines. To meet these guidelines, our restaurants have safety protocols and best practices in place, including guidance as you can see on the picture below. I invite other owners and operators to consult the Ministry of Health’s website and Facebook page for updates as well as theWorld Health Organization’s websitefor the latest advisories or news about coronavirus.
Finally, the last two months of business have been unusually slow and we need to prepare ourselves to face any eventuality as we are taking a big hit. At Thalias we are preparing measures to help our company with cost and cash-flow to keep afloat through the storm. All stakeholders must unite to help each other safeguard progress made in the past. Our guiding principle is to ensure all of our workers keep their jobs. We will re-train them during their downtime so when things are returning to normal our workers are the first out of the gate and immediately productive. Although the Royal Government of Cambodia has already announced some measures to help the ones already economically impacted by the crisis, all business associations will have to join forces to engage with our government counterparts to develop new packages to help all our companies to sustain employment and prepare original policies to facilitate new growth throughout the Cambodian economy. With this in mind needless to say that the upcoming GPSF will be of upmost importance.
CEO and Chairman Thalias Hospitality Group