Guidelines for Tourism Reopening by NCOC

This document aims to provide a Standard Operative Procedure to implement Public Health Measures by Health Authorities to combat COVID-19 and its resulting health hazards that can spread as a result of reviving the tourism sector back

RATIONALE

The revival of tourism is an important component of the move towards normalcy. Protocols have been designed to minimize the potential for contracting COVID-19 at tourist resorts and reducing its spread. These include specific measures to ensure the safety and health of tourists and local populations.

GENERAL MEASURES

  • The potential tourists should ensure that they are healthy and physically fit before embarking on the journey
  • Mandatory collection of Negative PCR / COVID-19 report along with CNICs by Hotels / guesthouses management should be ensured before booking rooms
  • Those guests who are vaccinated should be requested to deposit a copy of the authentic vaccination certificate
  • Hotels / Guesthouses would not book rooms for people above 50 years of age without vaccination certificates after 1st June 2021
  • Reservation of rooms would not be done for guests over 40 years of age after 1st July 2021 without vaccination certificates
  • At all entry points to travel areas the local administration will arrange check posts manned by LEA where all travelers have to register and fill up a Health Declaration Form (HDF) (Annex “A”). Filling up of this form is mandatory for all travelers before proceeding further.
  • Travelers should ensure adequate supplies of masks and sanitizers before they embark on the trip.

 

PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR HOTEL ADMINISTRATION

 

GENERAL PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

  • Administrations of hotels, motels, guest houses, restaurants & tour operators are advised to disseminate COVID-19 SOPs and ensure their implementation.
  • Ensure hotel/resort is always clean and hygienic
  • Ensure cleaning of spaces (lobbies, restrooms, hallways, public bathrooms, parking area, hotel entrance, lobby, restaurant, and Spa) and shared items (door handles/knobs, elevator buttons, stair banisters, tabletops remotes, light switches) with disinfectants. Disinfect the surfaces (e.g. tables and chairs) and objects (e.g. telephones, papers, pens) with recommended disinfectant (alcohol or chlorine-based) regularly, e.g 6-8 hourly depending on occupancy.
  • Place sanitizers at entrances and exits and in all prominent places. Refill dispensers regularly
  • Display posters promoting hand-washing and respiratory etiquette (Annex: B)
  • Thermal screening of all the people entering hotels/resorts
  • Sanitize vehicles used by the tourists by wiping with disinfectant solution (chlorine-based)
  • Encourage social distancing of 6 feet at all times
  • Ensure use of face masks
  • It is the responsibility of the hotel administration to inform the tourists about the local SOPs, precautionary measures, and available healthcare facilities at nearby hospitals from tourist spots.
  • Provinces / Federating Units are directed to formulate mechanism of stringent administrative actions including fines, penalties, and closures to ensure compliance with SOPs

MEASURES AT ENTRANCE AND RECEPTION

  • Ensure thermal scanning. Devise procedures to deal with a guest who may have a fever
  • Masks to be worn by reception (and other staff) staff at all times. Hand hygiene after every encounter with the guests
  • Disinfect the reception area and hotel lobby at regular intervals (6-8 hourly) and ensure adequate ventilation;
  • Mark out spaces clearly using measuring instruments to make social distancing of 6 feet easy to follow for the guests at the reception, lounging areas, and in other areas of the hotel/resort
  • Ensure availability and use of face masks by all guests and employees
  • One Room should be allotted per person or 2 x adults along with kids

ACCOMMODATION

  • Disinfect the space of each room thoroughly after checking- out, along with complete disinfection of furniture and equipment available in the room, in particular a telephone, mini bar, and TV with remote control using recommended disinfectant (alcohol- or chlorine-based)
  • Change the bedding according to safety standards
  • Daily disinfection of bathroom rooms with chlorine-based disinfectants
  • Availability of hand sanitizers in all rooms
  • Housekeeping staff work must wear gloves and masks while performing their duties and maintain a safe distance from the guests

RESTAURANTS

  • Open the restaurant and bar daily for a limited time (follow local administration SOPs)
  • Deliver meals preferably to the rooms
  • Disinfect room service trolleys and waiter trays after service
  • Sanitize the cutlery, porcelain, and glass each time in accordance with sanitary procedures

MEASURES FOR TOURISM OPERATORS

  • Daily health checks and thermal screening of staff are essential.
  • Protect staff wellbeing by ensuring an adequate supply of PPEs and hand sanitizers.
  • Provide all staff with a copy of these guidelines
  • Have provisions in place to record visitor contact details on booking or entry (details of tourists, including CNIC numbers, phone numbers, and home addresses)
  • The Tour Operators and Hoteliers must share bookings and visit information of each tourist with the concerned district tourism office in the attached format (Annex-B). The manager of the hotel shall be responsible to maintain all records. The AD Tourism will further disseminate it with the Directorate/ Secretariat of Tourism and Concerned DC on a daily basis

FOREIGN TOURISTS

  • Foreign tourists  to  follow  policy  on  Inbound  Passengers  regarding  test  and  quarantine; vaccination certificate would be required as mentioned above

PREVENTIVE MEASURES AT PUBLIC SPACE / TOURIST SPOTS

  • It is mandatory for all tourists to always wear face masks in public places, carry hand sanitizers, and use them frequently
  • Drivers ferrying people to tourist spots are required to wear masks and perform frequent hand hygiene
  • Prior to entry to a tourist spot, thermal screening of each visitor is to be carried out
  • Anyone found with an elevated body temperature should be subject to further examination and if needed could be placed in quarantine, according to the SOPs
  • Restaurants in tourist areas are advised to comply with guidelines issued by NCOC for dining-in / out as part of general NPIs
  • Dispersed camping may be allowed with stringent monitoring mechanisms
  • Tour operators,  tour  guides,  hotels,  guest  houses  &  restaurant  staff,  porters, etc.  must  be vaccinated according to National Vaccination Policy
  • Direct link  of  all  tourist  spots  with  nearest  health  facility  must  be  formalized  by  local administrations
  • Random sampling / sentinel testing using RAT of tourists by GB at entry points or designated spots and tourist areas
  • NTCB / PTDC to carryout regular liaison with all stakeholders to render input for “Review of Guidelines on Tourism” by NCOC with a view to ensuring implementation of COVID SOPs

NOTE:

The above recommendations are being regularly reviewed by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination and will be updated based on the international recommendations and best practices.

The Ministry acknowledges the contribution of Dr. Saira Kanwal and the HSA/ HPSIU/ NIH team to compile these guidelines.