Summary and Highlights – Reopening of Turkish Tourism and Travel Industry
Turkey, a transcontinental country and one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world, is eager to get back in business. The destination is restarting domestic tourism by the beginning of June and hopes to receive international visitors from mid-June.
The country has set out new guidelines for its hotels and resort facilities, such as temperature checks at entrances and at least 12 hours of room ventilation after checkout. Guests will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.
The country will pursue a policy, which will provide transparent and detailed information to earn the confidence of domestic and foreign visitors, while revealing plans to open most of Turkey's hotels this summer.
Meanwhile, restrictions on intercity travel have been lifted, while restaurants, cafes, parks, and sports facilities are permitted to reopen from June 1, along with beaches and museums. Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest markets, is also preparing to reopen for the first time in two months on June 1.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ODS Turkey has been very creative and active in the social media by creating positive, powerful campaigns, including fun videos, entertaining posts, spreading gratitude, fun, positiveness while staying connected to its industry partners.
ODS Turkey is looking forward to welcoming their guests back to one of the most amazing countries on earth!
“SafeTravels” with ODS Turkey.!
"Travel and Tourism is an important cornerstone to society. Through travel we enrich our knowledge and our lives, making the world a better place. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we operate, but it does not extinguish our need to roam the planet.”
We prepared the health and hygiene protocols including eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, restaurants, transportation, and airports, to ensure safety and hygiene of the travelers as top priority and to answer any questions and inquiries that they may have in accordance with the reopening of the Travel and Tourism services by June 2020, so that the guests can experience the “safe travel” feeling.
Covid-19 – Measurements and Implementations by ODS…
Coronavirus Protocol for Office Staff and Office
Environment – June 2020:
Action Plan for the Office…
Due to the current situation with the Coronavirus Covid-19, we have created this specific action plan for our office, in order to alleviate any customer concerns.
- Daily and periodic office cleaning, disinfection, hygiene, and proper air-circulation in all departments. All equipment used is being sanitized and any surfaces, chairs, doorknobs, bathroom etc. are sanitized regularly to prevent the spread of any virus.
- Disinfectants will be placed everywhere in the office and disinfectants with high alcohol volume will be available on every office desk and the kitchen areas.
- Co-workers and office staff are periodically trained, provided education with daily updates to maintain the health and safety regulations while adapting to the new health and hygiene requirements.
- Precautions taken by the Staff such as covering mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin straight away, wash hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, do not touch eyes, nose or mouth if hands are not clean and practice high recognition of social distancing among staff and other communication partners.
- Enhanced team/office member safety and well-being with personal protection, health and hygiene training and additional protocols.
- The entire office and ground staff to go through periodic health checks and records to be kept.
- A designated responsible staff in the office to follow up daily Covid-19 updates, statistics, information, be responsible for the gathering of protocols and guidelines and supervise compliance for staff and guests.
- Having deep protocols and contingency plans in place to act immediately in case of suspicion of virus outbreak.
- Staff must call in sick and/or remove themselves from the office self-isolate and ensure they prevent any spread of infection by using tissues and sanitizing hand gel if they display any cold or flu like symptoms whilst at work. (In particular, a fever or persistent cough). They should remain off work for an initial 7 days period.
- All staff must enforce strict hand washing protocols and ensure everyone uses hand sanitizer regularly throughout the day, especially after eating, smoking, going outside, etc.
- Tissues are available and promote “Catch it, bin it, kill it” when sneezing to both visitors and staff.
- It is ensured that all equipment and public facilities in the office are cleaned and sanitized regularly. The spread of the infection must be prevented via good sanitation procedures. (Doorknobs, handrails, hard surfaces, high traffic areas, touch screens, tea/coffee making facilities, etc.)
- Advise any visitor who calls in wanting to re-arrange their appointment with office staff due to worry of Covid-19 that all necessary precautions are taken to minimize the risk and have comprehensive Coronavirus Protocols in place.
- COMMUNICATION is Key – these plans visible to both office staff and visitors so that everyone is aware of the action that are taken.
Operational and ODS Turkey Staff Preparedness:
- Provide sanitation kits/small bags with disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, small bottle of Turkish cologne, face masks to the attending guests.
- Measures and applications to be implemented on the ground: temperature check, use of masks in all places, social distancing, disinfection, controls…
- Ground staff will wear masks and gloves all the time during the service and throughout the operation.
- Dedicated Operations Manager and his team to implement good and effective communication strategy (stay on top of developments, manage communication process, receive, and respond, etc.) This person will have overall on-site responsibility for implementing and maintaining the plan and internal communications.
- Check lists will be prepared including information such as attendee names, contacts of ODS Turkey lead staff, emergency contacts, list of vendors, number of activities and events, venue safety check, nearest hospital with emergency room, etc.
- Implement guest registration and contact tracing measures to the tours, excursions, events, and venues, such as obtaining the contact details of visitors and participants (name, phone number, and email address).
- ODS Turkey will provide earphones to each guest for the tours and excursions in order to help the social distancing between participants.
- On-site medical support will be provided for the programs. This support includes on-site rapid COVID-19 testing which provides patient results in short time.
- Follow the guidelines and tools of risk and crisis management and have emergency plans in place.
Accommodation – Hotels & Lodges
Hotels in Turkey have made several preparations and achieved operational readiness for
reopening beyond June.
In Turkey, only the hotels will be licensed to operate, which have participated in the Healthy Certification
Program conducted and prepared under the leadership of by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The purpose of this Certification Document is to determine necessary workouts that should be fulfilled for consumers who have Covid-19 contagion anxiety and for maximum hygiene and security expectations, designate training programs for staff and personnel and identify procedures and principles regarding the prevention of contagion of Covid-19 virus.
Touristic establishments including Hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. are certified to obtain the Certification Document provided that, they fulfill necessary requirements after the supervision by the institution, agency, or competent authority Identified by the Ministry.
ODS Turkey will only work with hotels which have obtained the Certification Document.
Among other precautions and implementations, hotels have pursued several practices such as:
- obtaining the applicable
- reopening license required by the ministry
- developing a COVID-19 prevention plan including an action/checklist for infection prevention and a special cleaning and disinfection plan
- managing required staffing levels available to restart operations
- implementing protocols and guidelines for staff safety and health
- including health checks for hotel staff
- issuing and communicating a stay-home policy for anyone displaying any symptoms or an increased temperature
- ensuring social distancing protocols and guidelines, and where possible, marking to clearly communicate to guests and staff
- integrating technologies to enable automation such as contactless payment where possible
- implementing enhanced protocols and guidelines for food safety in restaurants, cafes and kiosks relating to supply chain control, food handling and preparation, hygiene, digitization, queue management and deep cleaning
- evaluating innovations for cleanliness and disinfection, such as spraying technology, air filtration, with validation from expert bodies and governmental institutions
- training staff to prepare and execute on operational plans by creating and implementing staff protocols and guidelines,
- retraining staff regarding infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures including hand washing, the use of masks and gloves as recommended by local health authorities or stricter if required by the hospitality company procedures, and continuous monitoring of well-being of team members by leadership, encouraging them to following.
For more details including the content of Certification Program and sample hotel protocols, please follow the links below.
Restaurants & Event Venues
Like hotels, reopened by June 1st, 2020, the restaurants and venues work to ensure they deliver a safe experience for their staff and their guests through enhanced cleanliness and hygiene best practices. Enhanced food safety and hygiene at restaurants is core priority by:
- avoiding guest handling of food at buffets
- placing tables with the 1,5 meters distance to each other and new seating formats at 50% of their capacity
- regular cleaning of machines and where possible operate by staff member
- offering plated service as a solution ideally in a no-contact delivery method
- increasing cleaning and disinfection frequency
- enhancing cleaning including disinfecting tables immediately after guest has left
- implementing social distancing through table spacing and guest seating with suitable reinforcement
- implementing food protocols and guidelines relating to outsourced food
- considering minimizing what is placed on guest tables and provide mono-packaged items if feasible.
- approved disinfecting products made available at entrance to guests in the form of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as appropriate
- establishing with restaurant that restaurant staff are trained and adhere to likeminded health, hygiene, and physical contact guidelines
- avoid guest own handling of food at buffets
- regular cleaning of coffee/drinks machines and where possible operated by staff member
- enhanced cleaning, including disinfecting of tables and chairs after guest has left and using dishwasher over handwashing where possible
- minimizing physical contact through table spacing and guest seating if required by local legislation
- consider minimizing what is placed on guest tables and provide mono-packaged items if feasible
- reviewing payment method to prioritize contactless and pre-payment methods
- consider having longer opening hours to reduce the number of guests served at any given time and facilitate the implementation of the new measures
ODS Turkey will use and include only Restaurants, venues, caterers in the program which have strict protocols and supervised by the local authorities periodically.
For more details including the content of precautions taken and sample caterer protocol, please follow the links below.
Aviation – THY (Turkish Airlines) & Airports
As the aviation industry restarts its operations June 2020 onwards, by ensuring it achieves operational excellence in the “new normal” through executing the operational plans, so does THY (Turkish Airlines). All airports required to follow certain published protocols to ensure the safety of all the passengers, ground staff, and other parties involved. Social distancing measures in place at airports.
Turkish Airlines has started the domestic flights as of 4th of June 2020, followed by international flights started by 10th June 2020 to several key international destinations and now increasing the number of destinations. Turkish Airlines and other private airline companies have started their air-operations as of 1st week of June 2020.
THY and the ground operations teams have worked on a number of precautions with the aim of keeping passengers safe with a social, distant, contactless, and hygienic flight experience from the beginning till the end of their trip.
For more details including the content of precautions taken By THY and Istanbul Airport, please follow the links below.
Transportation & Boats
The bus companies and private Boat providers have followed strict guidelines on the progressive restoration
of transport services and connectivity. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism together with the Association of
Travel Agencies have put forward measures specifically for transport, including guidelines for passengers,
bus companies and boat suppliers.
ODS Turkey will only use the busses of suppliers with the required certification and privately chartered for the specific individual or group only.
Bus and Coach Transport:
- Guests/passengers are asked to wear face masks in transport hubs and vehicles used for collective transport, especially where physical distancing measures cannot be fully observed at all times.
- Wearing of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) by drivers and transport workers.
- Reducing, where feasible, the density of passengers in collective means of transport and in waiting areas (the operation of such lower capacity services could be adequately supported to maintain viability)
- During the initial relaxation of restrictions, the number of passengers will be reduced on vehicles in certain transport modes to ensure that any applicable physical distancing requirements are adequately observed.
- Maintaining or adding protective barriers in hubs and vehicles
- Setting up dedicated lanes or otherwise separating different passenger flows at transport hubs (i.e. ports, airports, train stations, bus stops, ferry landings, etc.).
- Clearly displaying accessible information on recommended behavior (e.g. frequent hand washing or sanitizing, keeping adequate distance)
- Adequate measures at boarding and at security checks (e.g. passengers not entering or leaving buses by the front door, opening of doors by default, disinfection of trays) and other measures that help to minimize contact
- Transport suppliers and onsite service providers will have in place specific protocols in case passengers fall sick or show COVID-19 symptoms during or immediately after travelling or being at a transport hub.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of hubs and vehicles, and increased frequency of waste collection.
- Systematic installing of hand-sanitizing stations and requiring their use whenever feasible.
- Strengthening ventilation, air filtering and, where appropriate, prioritizing use of natural air.
- Check-in, loading and unloading of luggage should be organized so that crowding of passengers is avoided.
- Accessible information on implemented safe behavior procedures, as well as required protective equipment for passengers, should be prominently displayed at hubs and in vehicles, and made available in advance of any travel.
- Only privately chartered boats, vessels will be used for water transfers and sea tours.
- Ensure distancing requirements can be observed on vessels, including by reducing the number of allowed passengers.
- Limit access to (dis)embarkation quays to passengers.
- Ports and quay should consider dedicated lanes to separate entry and exit of passengers.
- When conditions allow for it, move as many passengers as possible to open spaces of the vessel.
- Cleaning and disinfection of boats, vessels and onshore facilities should follow the suggested procedures for cleaning and disinfection of ships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Cleaning and disinfection of boats, including frequently touched areas and other hard surfaces on board the ship, public toilets, sinks and other sanitary facilities, chairs, sofas, wall coverings, to be performed effectively.
- Cruise ships and, where relevant, ferries should develop dedicated protocols for cleaning and hygiene that minimize the risk of cross-contamination between passenger cabins.
- Protocols should be developed between ship operators and onshore facilities for persons with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, including measures before, during and after the voyage.
Excursions & Tours, Guides:
Museums and historical sights are opened as of June 1st, 2020 with certain capacity limits and they are advised to operate at limited capacities, which may change from venue to venue depending on the size and capacity of the venue.
With the opening of museums, exhibitions and historical sites, several precautions for Museums are introduced during Covid-19 Pandemic.
Historical Sights & Museums:
- Museum tickets will be provided remotely by ODS Turkey’s ground team and visit bookings and visits by appointment will be made with the museum prior to the tour where possible.
- ODS Turkey will promote Private Museum visits where possible.
- Guests and participants are encouraged to wear a mask.
- The museum will, in visible places (preferably at the entrance to the museum territory and buildings), publicly display information on the maximum number of persons that can be in the museum or in the specific building of the museum at the same time.
- The museum will ensure the planning and control of the flow of visitors both outside and inside the museum, in order to prevent crowding of visitors and to ensure maintenance of a 2 meters distance, including by:
- to the extent possible, using separate entrances and exits for the organization of the flow of visitors.
- removing any obstacles (information boards, etc.) that could restrict the size of the entrance and exit area and thus impede the flow of visitors.
- displaying clearly legible signs in places visible to visitors, instructing them to be socially responsible and to observe a 2 meters distance.
- to the extent possible, marking the places for maintaining a 2 meters distance at ticket offices and in other places where the gathering of visitors is likely, such as bathroom areas.
- The museum will ensure that there are no visitors and employees present in the museum with any signs of a respiratory infectious disease (fever, cough, shortness of breath). The museum has the right to prohibit persons with signs of a respiratory infection from entering the museum and to invite them to leave the museum, recommending that they go home.
- The museum will ensure that both the staff and the visitors have the possibility to upkeep hand hygiene (washing hands with soap under running water and hygienic means for hand drying or using hand sanitizers.
- The museum will display clearly legible information on the premises, including in the bathroom areas, reminding to comply with the requirements of hygiene:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after visiting public places, before eating, before touching your face, and after visiting the bathroom.
- If it is not possible to wash your hands, disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Remember that the surfaces of touchscreen devices, such as phones, can be contaminated with viruses and bacteria, so they must be cleaned regularly with alcohol-based disinfectants.
- Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands.
- The museum shall clean the premises regularly, cleaning especially thoroughly all common surfaces (for example, shared exposition and exhibition design elements, door handles, table surfaces, armrests, handrails, surfaces in bathrooms) by using appropriate disinfectants. Surfaces that are touched by a large number of visitors should be cleaned several times a day.
- To the extent possible and in compliance with the specific requirements for maintaining the museum's microclimate, the museum will perform regular ventilation of premises by opening the windows or using effective mechanical ventilation.
- Implement temperature screening of all visitors as well as keeping an eye out for individuals who appear unwell. These visitors must be turned away and encouraged to seek medical attention.
- Ensuring adequate physical distance between visitors and participants by maintaining a minimum 1-meter distance between each visitor and participant.
- Encourage guests and participants not to visit in large groups (except where visitors and participants are from the same household). Identify areas where visitors and participants are likely to bunch up and put in place measures to disperse them.
- Setting up appropriate cordoning measures (e.g. barricades), especially for outdoor and open-air venues or museums, to limit access of visitors and participants and having the authorities to remind visitors and participants to maintain adequate physical distance from each other.
- Museum staff safety will be provided by periodic temperature checks, encouraging all staff to wear masks, providing hand sanitizers to staff.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of premises, especially frequently-touched surfaces and items, removing all handleable objects where possible.
- Place hand sanitizers in easily accessible locations, so that participants and staff may disinfect their hands (e.g. after touching door handles).
- Assigned Tour Guides will always wear face masks when they are not talking or giving crucial speeches about the tour.
- ODS Turkey will provide earphones to each guest for the tours and excursions in order to practice social distancing between participants at all times.
- There will be contingency plans in place for which the Tour Guides will be trained to be executed onsite if required.
- Tour Guides will make sure of that the transportation protocols are followed and implemented.