Strongly enforced mobility restrictions to deter the spread of COVID-19 severely impacted tourism, a pivotal economic sector of the Balearic Islands. Little is known about the experiences of the most economically affected groups, such as hotel housekeepers. This study aimed to explore the experiences and concerns of hotel housekeepers (approximately 13,000 worked in the Balearic Islands before the pandemic) during the first stages of the COVID-19 lockdown. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone in April of 2020. Thematic analysis was used for interpretation. Eighteen hotel housekeepers were interviewed. Main experiences and concerns identified were: (a) distress due to employment status and economic situation, (b) concerns for children’s education, (c) health-related concerns, mainly regarding the possibility of infecting someone, and (d) feelings related to home confinement (e.g., sense of security against infection, tedium, and boredom). Uncertainty permeated all discourses, generating feelings of fear and distress, particularly related to employment status and the general economic situation. Our findings shed light on the impact of public health measures to control COVID-19 spread in the different areas of life of hotel housekeepers, one of the most economically affected occupational groups. The trade-off between economics and health must be considered in future decisions on public health.
COVID-19, lockdown, hotel housekeepers, semi-structured interviews, thematic analysis
We acknowledge the collaboration of all hotel housekeepers who agreed to participate in the project and be interviewed.
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Recommended APA Citation
Chela-Alvarez, X., Sanchez-Rodriguez, C., Bulilete, O., Vidal-Thomàs, M., & Llobera, J. (2022). Experiences and Concerns of Female Hotel Housekeepers in the First Stages of the Covid-19 Lockdown in the Balearic Islands (Spain): A Qualitative Study. The Qualitative Report, 27(12), 2816-2838. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5153