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Published on Friday, June 19, 2020

Turkey launches safe tourism certificate

Turkey has announced a Safe Tourism Certification programme, launched to coincide with the start of the 2020 summer season.

The Safe Tourism Certification, which is issued under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and run in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, covers a broad range of safety measures taken towards transport, accommodation and health conditions of both hospitality employees and tourists.

The certificate, which has been granted by international certification institutions, validates the execution of high levels of health and hygiene requirements at airline companies, airports (and other transport stations) accommodation outlets and food and beverage facilities.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: "We as the Republic of Turkey are acting with a sense of responsibility to ensure that both our citizens and tourists feel comfortable during their visit.

"There is a proverb stating the hospitality of Turkish people which translates to 'you are more than welcome!'. We have always been led by this principle and will continue to take necessary actions based on the proverb throughout these unprecedented times." 

"Our new certification programme ensures that tourists can enjoy holidays in Turkey in a safe and hygienic manner and feel comfortable for the duration of their visit.

"We have worked to ensure that the programme covers preventive and protective steps for all aspects of the holiday experience.

"In order to obtain the certificate, all transportation and accommodation facilities must take all precautions to provide a healthy holiday to guests."

The Safe Tourism Certification programme follows the announcement from the beginning of March that British citizens travelling to Turkey for leisure or business purposes will now be able to travel without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This summer will be the first season without visa requirements for British tourists.

The new certification programme is made up of four main pillars, covering health and safety of passengers, health and safety of employees, precautions taken at facilities and precautions taken in transportation.

Health and Safety of the Passenger ensures the safety of tourists from the time of check-in until check-out. Precautions include providing masks to passengers and not allowing passengers without a mask to enter terminals; body temperature testing at the entrance of terminal buildings and regularly disinfecting terminal areas. If required, protocols have also been put in place for passengers that fall into the 'high risk' group when travelling.

Health and Safety of the Employee includes precautions that have been put in place to ensure the physical and mental health of all staff at transportation, accommodation and food and beverage facilities. All staff have been required to take hygiene and sanitation training and have been provided with hygiene and health equipment. New shift patters and regular health checks will be carried out and psychological support will be offered to staff where necessary.

Precautions Taken at Facilities covers safety measures taken to prevent the spread of the outbreak. The certification ensures that all accommodation and food and beverage outlets have implemented and controlled measures, including social distancing, contact and isolation.

Precautions Taken in Transportation outlines measures and regulations for air, land and sea travel. All transportation staff have undertaken hygiene and sanitation training and will be issued with immunity certificates ahead of working. In addition to staff precautions, all transport vehicles will be sterilised and arranged to coincide with safe distance measurements.

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