The World Travel and Tourism Council on 29th May issued new &lsquoGlobal Protocols&rsquo for travel in the new normal. These new guidelines seek to stimulate the travel sector and rebuild the confidence of consumers to travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and follow the first set of protocols issued by the WTTC in May which were aimed at the hospitality and outdoor retail sectors.
The new measures draw from the guidelines that are in place from the WHO and the CDC and are aimed at airports, airlines, convention and event centres and tour operators. In drafting the measures for airports and airlines, the WTTC took guidance from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI).
The health of airport staff will come under greater scrutiny, with health check-ups, stay-home policies, and PPE requirements. Automation will also be emphasised to minimise person-to-person contact. The guidelines also lay out heightened hygiene standards increased cleaning and waste disposal frequency, improved hygiene standards for restaurants and kiosks within the airport as well as pre-flight risk assessment for consumers and non-intrusive entry/exit screenings.
Protocols for airlines are similar to airports in terms of staff health, increased automation, and hygiene and cleaning standards. Travellers may be directed to fill electronic declarations for risk assessment and adopt contact tracing measures as issued by governments. They also suggest an alternative boarding method where passengers embark on the plane from &lsquoback to front, window to aisle,&rsquo as well as minimising movement in the cabin.
Venues hosting events have been advised to operate at a reduced capacity and ensure greater physical distancing between participants. What is placed on participant tables is also to be minimised, suggesting &lsquomono-packaged&rsquo items wherever feasible
Staff at the offices of such tour operators are to maintain a greater physical distance. When choosing partner businesses for things like transport, operators should ensure those businesses are following similar hygiene and safety protocols. In dealing with travellers, operators have been advised to opt for staggered timings for visiting venues, hotels, and restaurants to ensure minimal crowding.
Additionally, common directives on preparedness plans, schedules, staff training, online and contactless payment procedures and such measures have been advised. The full, detailed protocols are available on the WTTC website.