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Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, will require guests to wear masks in common areas

(iStock/Washington Post illustration)

Marriott Hotels will soon require guests to use facial coverings in its 7,300 hotels worldwide, chief executive Arne Sorenson announced Monday in a video.

The world’s biggest hotel chain has required employees to wear masks for months, but effective Monday, the rule will also apply to customers in all indoor public spaces, Sorenson explained after removing his own purple mask.

“Health experts have made it clear that wearing face coverings in public spaces is one of the easiest steps that we can all take to protect one another and reduce the spread of covid-19,” he said in the video.

Sorenson said the move adheres to safety guidelines for guests during the pandemic, published in the past week by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group. The guidelines call for social distancing and frequent hand-washing and ask travelers to try to forgo daily housekeeping and opt for contactless services whenever possible.

“To help enable safe travel amid the ongoing challenges of covid-19, we need to come together as an industry and promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing,” said Mark Hoplamazian, chief executive of Hyatt Hotels, which requires guests in the United States and Canada to wear facial coverings.

Bethesda-based Marriott has made many other alterations to its business in the pandemic, including stepped-up cleaning protocols, changes to the check-in process, partitions, hand-sanitizing stations and signage with reminders about social distancing. The company is also developing cleaning technologies, it said on its website.

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