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Published on Friday, May 29, 2020

WTTC unveils measures for 'new normal'




The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the second phase of measures to encourage the return of travel in the 'new normal'.

The latest protocols are designed to build customer confidence and were based on discussions with key stakeholders and organisations.

They aim to provide consistency to destinations and countries as well as guidance to travel providers, airlines, airports, operators, and travellers, about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post COVID-19 world.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO, said: "For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated travel and tourism sector re-open for business.

"Among the most important of these measures are those which will enable the aviation sector to take-off. Aviation's return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery.

"WTTC aviation protocols were created in close collaboration with ACI and IATA. We thank their leaders Angela Gittens and Alexandre de Juniac for their guidance, as it is vital we restore consumer confidence to get people travelling and flying safely.

"The expertise from large and small tour operators, contributed to define the new experience via tour operators and visiting event venues again, was defined in coordination of experts from this segment, through these robust global measures which have been embraced by businesses around the world."

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general and CEO said: "Covid-19 is a gamechanger for the travel and tourism sector, requiring us to enhance our approach to health and safety to protect our travellers and workforce. Aviation is the business of freedom and it is vital to enable its restart on a safe basis."

Earlier this week, WTTC's unveiled its landmark new global safety stamp to encourage safe travels and the reopening of the travel and tourism sector.

Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the new protocols will recognise businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them to rebuild confidence among consumers.

Measures announced today include:

Airports

Enhanced cleaning including to self-service equipment, baggage trolleys, counters, buggies, security checkpoints, washrooms, elevators, handrails, boarding areas, and common areas with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points
Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to staff, such as masks
New signage and announcements to limit interaction and queuing at touchpoints
Possible pre-arrival health risk assessment to prevent delays upon arrival
Reduce passenger touchpoints through online check-in before departure, use of self-check in kiosks and bag drop, home-printed bag tags, greater use of biometric e-gates and boarding card reading at gates
If entry-exit screening is mandated, it should be carried out in a non-intrusive, walk through manner, through full body infrared scanners using handheld infrared thermometers, and ear gun thermometers
Enhanced food safety and hygiene at restaurants, with prepacked foods to avoid handling of food at buffets
Possible redesign of immigration halls together with governments and airlines to speed up procedures
Where declarations are required upon arrival, electronic options should be used to minimise contact; ideally using contactless processes.

Airlines

Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to staff such as masks
Reduce passengers' touchpoints through online check-in before departure, use of self-check in kiosks and bag drop, home-printed bag tags, greater use of biometric e-gates and boarding card reading at gates
Provide approved hand sanitizers as appropriate based on high-traffic areas, such as check-in and boarding areas
Revisited guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the plane including washrooms, as well as check in and boarding areas, with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points
Consider boarding from back of the plane to the front, window to aisle
Limit movement in the cabin as much as possible
Retrain crew and frontline staff regarding infection control and hygiene measures

Tour operators

Enhanced sanitation, disinfection, and deep cleaning practices for coaches and other vehicles
Focused cleaning on high-frequency touch points, including handrails, door handles, tables, onboard toilets, air conditioning filters, overhead lockers and headsets
Pre-allocated seating plans with no rotation
Limit physical contact and queuing where possible
Explore staggered timing for access to venues, hotels and restaurants among others
Health, sanitation, disinfection and hygiene and food safety protocols at partner restaurants
Establish with partners and suppliers including shops, showrooms, tasting venues/shops, museums, shows theatres, concert halls, factories and farms, that they follow likely protocols


Convention Centres, Meetings & Events

Implement physical distancing for seating distribution and aisles, utilizing government guidance if available. Create visual support to show intent as appropriate.
Reduce venue capacity limits for participants as appropriate and required by local legislation
Distinguish between different areas of risk in the venue
Consider pre-arrival risk assessment questionnaire for participants
Limit physical interaction and possible queuing at reception and registration using advance registration to enhance participant flow
Create isolation units outside the venue where possible for those showing COVID-19 symptoms

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