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June 22, 2020

Covid-19 Safety & Hygiene Protocols for Tourism Industry

Kathmandu: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has published “COVID-19 Safety and Hygiene Protocols for the Tourism Industry” to minimize the impending risk of Covid-19 pandemic for both consumers and providers of tourism services.

The officials said the new Protocol was the result of NTB’s regular coordination with government agencies as well as the private sector and concerned stakeholders to mitigate the ongoing crisis of Covid-19 that devastated the tourism industry and aviation to a larger extent.

The new protocol is expected to give a relief to the reviving tourism industry in the country.

According to Chief Executive Officer of NTB Dr. Dhananjay Regmi the new protocol related to tourism sector includes detailed guidelines for the operation of hotels,restaurants, tourism offices, transportation, packaged tours and adventure activities which is supplemented with environment-friendly recommendations for sustainable and responsible tourism practices.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said, “The NTB published protocol of Safety and Hygiene for Tourism Industry will cover a wide range of guidelines for big behavioral changes on part of the service providers as well as service receivers to new global standards of hygiene and sanitation.”

The Minister also added that the protocol will be important for all tourism professionals and stakeholders in the new context and will be handy for all. The protocol should be abided by all across the nation as these guidelines have come up in lines with WHO guidelines.

The protocol for Hotels reads:

Reception desk must be equipped with necessary disinfection kit:
Germicidal disinfectant/wipes for surface cleaning Tissues.
Face/eye masks (separate or combined, face shield, goggles).
Gloves (disposable)
Protective apron (disposable)
Full-length long-sleeved gown
Biohazard disposable waste bag
Lobby / Public areas seating to be reduced to minimum and regular disinfection to be carried out
Stock masks, gloves and mini sanitizers (complimentary/for sale) for in-house

Similarly the protocols for Restaurant Banquets/ Meeting and Dining Rooms and Bars reads:

Restaurants, breakfast, and dining room and bar staff should perform personal hygiene like regular hand washing and respiratory hygiene frequently.

Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast, or dining room to disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.

Buffets and drinks machines
Buffets should be ideally closed or each station should be manned by staff.
No self service
Table Seating
Whenever possible, it is recommended to have a maximum of 4 persons in an
area of 10 square meters. For detailed study of the protocol you may contact NTB.

Protocol for Tour and Adventure activities reads:

Tour group shall maintain distance from other groups and local communities.
In the initial stage, lunchboxes shall be used for in-tour meals, and eventually use a set of restaurants accredited for their hygiene levels and adherence to the restaurant protocol.

Tour leader shall ensures group understands the virus protocols of hygiene and physical distancing.

Tour Leader always has an updated First Aid kit and has extra masks and sanitizers,and is trained on how to use the kit!.
Regular contact with office to know ground situations.

Tour Leader is trained regularly on the Emergency Protocol in case there is an
outbreak (within the group or in the area where the group is touring).

All Trekkers and Mountaineers as with GT and Mountaineering group, FITs should trek with authorized agencies/ licensed guides to ensure safety.
Mountaineering/GT/FITs should not make any change in the approved trekking itinerary.
Group size should be 2-15 people only.

The Tour Leader must report health status of group members in all the health posts that lie in the trekking route, also have health check-up done. These reports are to be submitted regularly to the Agency for future contact tracing.
The groups shall mandatory Health check up all the trekkers in Health check posts on trekking route.

Group Health Check records including before and after report should submitted by Agency to the Department Of Tourism (DOT).

A clearance letter confirming responsible disposal/ return of non-biodegradable garbage has to be obtained from the local government body or authorized entity in the trekking area.

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