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Robots in, buffets out: Asia hotels try socially distant hospitality

Safety trumps human touch as countries ease COVID rules and push staycations

A Pimalai Resort & Spa employee sanitizes doorknobs and other frequently touched spots. (Photo courtesy of Pimalai Resort & Spa)

SINGAPORE -- Decked in white and sporting a perfectly straight bow tie, Xiao Ya roams the hallways of Ascott serviced luxury residences in China, greeting guests and guiding them in the right direction.

Xiao Ya never asks for a tip. Money would not do a robot much good, after all.

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