New social distancing and hygiene measures are being imposed by budget accommodation firm a&o Hostels for when properties emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rooms will operate at half capacity or a maximum of four people within the first few months of re-opening.

Allocated breakfast times are planned to limit the number of guests sharing the dining space at one time, with a distance of 1.5 metres between chairs in dining areas.

Hostel staff will be provided with facemasks and a designated hygiene officer allocated across the firm’s 39 properties across 23 European cities.

Chief executive Oliver Winter said: “We want to assure our future guests that we are taking proactive steps to ensure their utmost safety and to re-instate confidence when they start travelling again.

“We pride ourselves in providing communal environments for travellers to meet and connect with each other, however we understand we must adapt to the ‘new normal’, which is why we are introducing social distancing measures that will enable maximum health and safety without impeding their travel experience.

“We have hostels in some spectacular European cities including Berlin, Venice, Amsterdam, Budapest and Copenhagen and we want to encourage tourists to explore these wonderful places in a way that will coincide with the shift in mindset of the post-pandemic traveller.”