As South Africa and the rest of the world begins to move towards lower levels of lockdown, how travel will work as the coronavirus pandemic continues has been a question on many lips.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has finally released guidelines for all businesses in the tourism industry preparing to reopen of travel.
While the guidelines have not yet been approved by government they allow travellers and those working in the tourism industry to get a better idea of what to expect.
According to the Council, the protocols were developed in accordance with authorities on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The protocols align with the WHO, NICD and DoH guidelines and advice, and will be revisited as required on an on-going basis. They cover customer information, PPE, physical distancing, and sanitisation and hygiene practices, among others, for staff and customers,” said the Council.
Travel protocol outline
1. High risk persons
A focus of the protocols proposed is how to handle travellers who are older and therefore more at risk when it comes to COVID-19. According to the guidelines people above the age of 65 are being asked not to travel at this time, persons slightly younger between 60 and 65 who have already existing health issues are also being urged not to travel.
2. Public Transport and staff
Establishments are being urged to arranged alternative transport options for their staff, rather than public transport, to reduce their chances of infection.
3. Travel between provinces
Travel between provinces will be limited to people making use of private or rented vehicles only. Those traveling to accommodation establishments will be required to show their proof of booking.
4. Contact tracing
All businesses will be required to obtain the contain details of guests or patrons as well as planned travel information to ensure ease of contact tracing if needed.
5. Protocol commitment
Owners, directors, managers and other service providers in the tourism industry will be required to sign a pledge to adhere and uphold the industry protocols.
6. Health and Safety Officer
Operating businesses and premises will be required to appoint a COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer. Depending on the size of the business this can either be a designated individual taking on the role in addition to their current duties or a owner or manager. Larger businesses may be required to employ a dedicated officer.
7. Medical and Travel declaration
All patrons of businesses in the tourism industry will be required to provide a complete Medical and Travel declaration. This must be provided on arrival, boarding or check-in depending on the circumstance. The temperatures of all patrons will be taken on arrival and daily in the case of accommodation establishments.
All staff will be required to receive training for properly adhering and administering the various requirements of the new travel protocols.
See the full guideline here.