GUIDLINES

State spells out tough 'new normal' safety measures for tourism sector

Guests are required to complete medical and travel declaration form online at the time of booking before arrival as appropriate.

In Summary
  • Hospitality practitioners seek valid relevant Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) license
  • Accommodation establishments are encouraged to rotate room use leaving a used room for at least one idle day before subsequent check-in.
Tourism Cs Najib Balala
Tourism Cs Najib Balala

The tourism ministry has issued safety protocols for structured full reopening of the sector's activities in the country reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measures for the ‘New Normal', according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is to inculcate institutional operational and staff preparedness to ensure service provision meets World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and Ministry of Health measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Tourism and hospitality practitioners will have to seek valid relevant Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) license, health and county licenses and obtain permits or stickers signifying compliance with the provision of protocols to be considered for reopening.

 

Tourist accommodation, food and beverage outlets shall institute a Food Safety Management System (FSMS) to prevent contamination to clients, staff and supply chain workers.

Hospitality facilities providing food and beverage services are expected to have valid Covid-19 free certificates for core staff, not more than14 days old from a recognised government-approved facility for the first time and subsequently maintain Covid-19 prevention guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and relevant agencies.

They have to redesign the physical workspace and work processes to ensure compliance with the physical distancing of not less than 1.5 meters and institute hygiene operations, sanitation and minimised contact between persons.

They are also expected to develop internal guidelines for managing staff and guest interaction within the facility and the surrounding environment.

The new measures compel hotels to make arrangements for advance bookings or reservations as a pre-requisite for guests visiting the facility or tourist attraction site.

Guests are required to complete medical and travel declaration form online at the time of booking before arrival as appropriate.

They are also expected to appoint designated health, safety and hygiene officer or team in place at all times depending on the size of the facility and develop and implement documented SOPs for handling suspected Covid-19 cases and ensure patient confidentiality.

 

They are also expected to ensure complete and regular disinfection and sanitisation of foodservice premises or outlets by the MOH or approved outsourced service provider.

Tourism Regulatory Authority in collaboration with tourism stakeholders will continuously monitor the tourism work environment and recommend necessary enactment or amendment of existing laws to safeguard guests, staff and the general public in the tourism value chain.

The new guidelines will also see an extreme overhaul of room services, with a maximum number of occupants per room, at approximately 50 per cent of capacity determined with 4 – 5m2 minimum spacing per bed.

Accommodation establishments are encouraged to rotate room use leaving a used room for at least one idle day before subsequent check-in.

Laundry shall be put into ample quality plastic bags for laundry collection for proper washing in hot cycles above 70 degrees Celsius.

On checkout, all furniture, all surfaces, all movable items, wall surfaces floors and bathrooms must be thoroughly cleaned with an effective disinfectant.

Swimming pools will be operated at maximum safety conditions with chlorine levels in pools kept between 1-3mg/l, with a pH range of 6.8 - 7.4’ 2.

The management must ensure that the number of loungers is reduced and appropriately spaced at 1.5 meters apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Swimming towels shall be immediately collected and placed in laundry plastic bags for cleaning after use.