Due to the preparation for the resumption of activities in the tourism sector in Tunisia after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tunisian National Tourism Office has developed a guide on sanitary procedures – «The Anti COVID-19 Tunisian Tourism Health Protocol».
Special attention in the Sanitary Protocol is paid to the observance of hygiene and sanitary precautions throughout the entire route of tourists — from arrival at the border checkpoint to departure, as well as safety instructions for employees of tourist organizations.
- Meeting tourists, transfer and excursions.
- Employees who meet tourists – guides, drivers, and tour guides — are required to wear a protective mask;
- Tourists should wear a protective mask during transfers and excursions;
- Employees of tourist organizations must have hand sanitizer and a package of facial tissues;
- Employees must provide tourists with hand sanitizers when boarding the vehicle;
- Keeping a safe distance of 1 m between guests during their meeting, in a vehicle, during visits to sightseeing sites, breaks and stops is obligatory;
- The tour guide must have a mobile headset and a loudspeaker to maintain a safe distance of 1 meter in a group of 15 or more people, if possible;
- The load limit is up to 50% of the total number of seats, while keeping the distance between passengers of at least 1 m is necessary, with the exception of a transfer for a family in a vehicle with a capacity of up to 7 seats (written consent of tourists is required);
- Complete disinfection and ventilation of the vehicle before boarding and after disembarking passengers.
- Tourist accommodation facilities.
Responsibilities of the hotel management:
- The number of guests should not exceed 50% of the total capacity of the accommodation;
- Suspend indoor events, contact sports events in swimming pools and weddings outdoors or indoors;
- Provide guests and staff with the opportunity to receive information about new sanitary rules that must be followed. The information can be provided in paper or digital format;
- Organize a crisis committee consisting of the heads of various departments (management, medical staff (including a hygiene specialist), reception, quality control service, accommodation, etc.);
- Establish, together with regional health services, a procedure prescribing a number of actions in case of suspicion and/or confirmation of COVID-19 from a guest or employee;
- Provide a certain number of rooms in case of isolation of guests with symptoms suspicious for COVID-19.
Responsibilities of employees of all departments:
- Monitoring and recording the temperature of all employees at the entrance using a non-contact thermometer. If the detected body temperature is above 38°C, the employee is not allowed to work, and the information must be passed on to the competent medical services;
- Wearing masks is mandatory: it is necessary to observe the rules for wearing, removing and disposing of masks (the duration of using the mask should not exceed 4 hours, if the mask has become wet, it must also be replaced);
- Regular hand washing with soap and water or treatment with alcohol-containing antiseptic gel (alcohol content of at least 70%);
- The accumulation of employees in changing rooms, canteens, restrooms and other places is not allowed. Keeping a safe distance of at least 1 m is obligatory;
- Each employee, in case of symptoms of the disease (fever, cough and breathing difficulties) or in case of contact with an infected person, is obliged to inform his/ her immediate supervisor by phone, the employee is not allowed to appear on the territory of the accommodation facility.
Meeting and registration of guests:
- In front of the entrance to the hotel reception, a place for disinfection of guests’ luggage must be provided (the entire surface of the luggage, including the handle and locks, is disinfected);
- Measure the temperature of all guests using a non-contact thermometer (in case of fever with a constant body temperature above 38 °C, the guest cannot be allowed to enter the hotel, it is necessary to inform the sanitary service immediately);
- Install dispensers with alcohol-containing antiseptics for hand disinfection at the entrance door, in the reception area, next to the elevator on each floor, as well as in public areas, at the entrance to the catering facilities;
- Provide the guests with pens that are systematically disinfected after each use;
- Take the necessary measures to ensure that a safe distance of at least 1 m between the guests is kept;
- If possible, conduct online registration;
- Limit the number of people in the elevator to 2 with a minimum distance between people of at least 1 m (except for parents with children).
Rooms, floors, public areas and toilets:
- The room can be occupied by a newly arrived guest only after cleaning, disinfection and ventilation (at least 3 hours before the arrival of the guest);
- The frequency of cleaning and disinfection of public areas should be increased. The minimum frequency is 30 minutes;
- Turn off electric hand dryers in public toilets;
- Put enough garbage containers with a pedal and a disposable bag for specific waste (masks, gloves).
Bars and cafes:
- The safe distance between the tables should be 2.5 m. A maximum of 4 people can sit at a table designed for 6 people;
- Suspend self-service on the All-inclusive food system;
- To use disposable cups or glasses and cups with the obligatory observance of strict instructions on the technique of washing and disinfection of dishes.
Restaurants and other food outlets:
- The number of visitors of restaurants should be reduced to 50%, the minimum distance between tables is at least 2.5 meters. A maximum of 4 people should be at a table designed for 8 people (with the exception of parents with children);
- Suspend self-service on the All-inclusive food buffet. A la carte service is recommended;
- Napkins on tables should be disposable;
- Use disposable cutlery whenever possible, in case of reusable one, it must be treated in compliance with hygienic cleaning and disinfection procedures.
Pools and beaches:
- Swimming in pools is prohibited for people who are at high risk for health, namely the elderly, pregnant women, people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension (according to WHO). The corresponding notification should be placed by the pool;
- Limit the number of people in the pool at the same time, taking into account the capacity of the pool (1 person per 3 m2 of pool area);
- Increase the frequency of monitoring the parameters of chlorine and PH — 1 time every 2 hours, determination of the level of stabilization — 1 time every 2 days;
- Keep a distance of at least 1 m between the sun loungers by the pool and on the beach.
Seminars, congresses, meetings and other events:
- The number of participants should be reduced to 50% with a distance of at least 1 m between the chairs and at least 2 m between the tables;
- Coffee breaks should be organized in the same hall where the conference is held, self-service is excluded.
- Put containers with a pedal and a special bag designed for the disposal of masks and gloves in sufficient quantities in various rooms and along the routes of guests/staff.
Sports centers and playgrounds for children:
- Limit the number of guests in fitness halls, taking into account the total area of the room and keeping a safe distance of at least 1 m. It is recommended to prioritize physical activities in the open air;
- Suspend all contact activities;
- Keep a distance during outdoor events and avoid actions that may cause crowds of people;
- Keep a safe distance between equipment in fitness halls and playgrounds.
- Tourist restaurants.
- The number of guests in the restaurant should be reduced to 50%;
- The minimum distance between the tables is 2.5 m, a maximum of 4 people should be at a table designed for 8 people (with the exception of parents with children);
- Ensure that a safe distance of at least 1 m between visitors at the entrance to the restaurant is kept;
- Measure the body temperature of each guest using a non-contact thermometer;
- Install dispensers with alcohol-containing antiseptics to disinfect hands at the entrance to the restaurant;
- Use disposable cutlery whenever possible, in case of reusable one, it must be treated in compliance with hygienic cleaning and disinfection procedures;
- Prohibit group dancing, dancing is allowed only in a person’s place;
- Suspend the work of night and dance clubs, cabarets.
The Anti COVID-19 Tunisian Tourism Health Protocol was reviewed and approved by the Tunisian Occupational Health and Safety Institute, taking into account a comparative analysis with twenty countries, the instructions of the National Office of the Tunisian Tourism (ONTT), the directives of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), recommendations of experts and professional journals.
The Protocol on Sanitary Safety is an open document in which new information, recommendations and other provisions will be introduced, depending on possible scenarios for the development of a pandemic.