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Less than 10 days after Campbeltown’s Ardshiel Hotel re-opened for overnight visitors, management issued a statement to say one of its guests tested positive for Covid-19 after checking out of the hotel.
However, far from causing panic, the hotel’s public statement helped to reassure other residents and restaurant guests that the risk to them was minimal, thanks to new procedures in place at the hotel which are being strictly followed.
The new measures put in place so the hotel could safely re-open, meant the guest never came into physical contact with any member of staff and never entered the main hotel building, remaining instead in the annex building in which their room was located.
In last Friday’s statement on Facebook, Amanda Grant, the hotel’s office manager, said: ‘During lockdown we have been providing accommodation for essential workers and will continue to provide this service whilst it is necessary for this to be available in our community.
‘We can confirm that an essential worker, who was staying with us, has tested positive for Covid-19. It is crucial we make it clear that firstly the essential worker never stepped foot inside the Ardshiel Hotel during their stay and furthermore did not have any direct contact with any members of our team. This is because the guest stayed in our annex building and with the new check-in procedures we have put in place, they did not need to enter the main building.
‘After returning home, the guest contacted us to advise they had since tested positive. This was not confirmed during their stay.
‘We were directly in contact with NHS Inform and are pleased to confirm that, after a lengthy discussion, they advised that with all the procedures and precautions we have implemented prior to opening, and given the fact the essential worker hasn’t been within the Ardshiel Hotel, there is no reason for us to make direct contact with any members of the public.
‘We understand these are very frightening times for everyone but first and foremost our main concerns are of wishing our guest a speedy recovery and that of ensuring there has been no risk to any of our team or other guests.
‘We hope anyone who has visited us since the lifting of lockdown will be reassured we have gone to great measures to ensure the safety of guests and team members which continues to be our top priority.
‘Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and surely the best thing we can all do is follow the government advice, adhere to social distancing and support each and every one of us during these difficult times.’
Amanda added that anyone with any queries about the information in the statement or anything else is welcome to contact the hotel directly.
The hotel’s open and honest approach received a hugely positive reaction from the community, with many people praising the hotel’s transparency in dealing with an unprecedented situation.
Amanda told the Courier: ‘When I took the decision to write the statement, there was always doubt over whether it was the right thing to do, however, I strongly felt being open and honest was the best solution and I am happy to say on this occasion I definitely made the right decision.
‘We are totally overwhelmed by the support we have received. We never expected it to be at the level it is, not just notable from the likes and comments on our Facebook page, but also the private messages we have received from regular and new customers, and the number of local businesses that have taken time to show their support. We would like to thank our customers for their continued support.’