By Pepi Sappal • 17 April 2020 • 4:13
Exactly how does Spain plan to safeguard tourists coming into the country from coronavirus?
Tourism boards and hotel associations in Spain are planning ‘Covid-19 Free’ certificates to win back tourist confidence and entice holidaymakers back to its towns and costas.
THE Madrid Association of Hoteliers (AEHM), for example, is working on a ‘Covid-19 Free Hotel’ certification, guaranteeing both guests and staff, that the hotel is free of the disease. The hoteliers are keen to get the qualification once they have met all the criteria required for certification. The criteria that will have to be fulfilled will cover several aspects that guarantees the safety of hotel guests from the moment they enter through the doors of the hotel, until they leave, according to Mar de Miguel, General Secretary of AEHM. It would include requirements for staff and staff areas too.
There will be concrete hygiene protocols that will need to be followed, not just for the cleaning of rooms, but also communal areas, dining areas, kitchens, reception area, etc. “We are working on an exhaustive list of protocols that will guarantee the safety of our clients, as well as our workers, so that we are ready to open the doors of our hotels, once the lockdown is lifted,” assured Miguel.
The Catalan Tourism Agency has also confirmed that it is working on creating certificates to guarantee ‘Covid-19 Free’ establishments. According to the Agency’s Director, David Font, it will be an easy and fast mechanism for businesses in the tourism sector to help regain visitor confidence. The agency is aiming to entice visitors to touristic destinations, such as Costa Brava, as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted. Like Madrid, the Catalan Tourism Agency is also exploring how to certify establishments and apply secure health checks to guarantee that they are free from the coronavirus infection.
Costa Del Sol’s hotel associations are exploring similar measures. Both Malaga and Marbella hoteliers are having virtual meetings on how to regain tourist confidence. They are also exploring what measures they need to take to ensure their establishments are Covid-19 free, as well as how to prove it through certification, and how to retain that status.
While tourist boards and hoteliers are looking to explore the measures they need to take to win client confidence back, tourists will need to do their part. It’s highly likely that they will need to provide proof that they are Covid-19 free too. An immunity certificate (a bit like the Yellow Fever booklet required for travel in the past) may well become a requirement for both outward and inward travel.
Some countries in Asia are already requiring doctor’s certificates proving that individuals are ‘Covid-19 free’ to allow people to travel between towns, and enter certain establishments. The UK’s government has also hinted that it is considering issuing ‘immunity passports’ so people can leave the lockdown early. Spain too is considering similar measures.
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