CNOC publishes guidelines to save tourism sector revival
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – May 23, 2021): The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has released elaborate guidelines for the safe revival of the tourism sector, ensuring public health and reducing risk spread of the disease in tourist destinations.
The NCOC guidelines were designed to provide a standard operating procedure for implementing public health measures by health authorities to address COVID-19 and the health risks that could spread as a result of the relaunch. of the tourism sector.
These include specific measures to ensure the safety and health of tourists and local populations.
The mandatory guidelines stressed that potential tourists should ensure that they are in good health and physical shape before embarking on the trip.
The management of hotels and guest houses have been tasked with ensuring the mandatory collection of the negative PCR / COVID-19 report with the CNICs before the rooms are booked.
People who have been vaccinated should be asked to submit a copy of the authentic vaccination certificate.
In addition, hotels and guesthouses will not book rooms for people over 50 without a vaccination certificate after June 1, 2021.
Room reservations will not be made for people over 40 after July 1, 2021 without a vaccination certificate.
Local governments would organize checkpoints manned by law enforcement agencies (LEA) at all entry points to travel areas where all travelers must register and complete a health declaration form (HDF ).
“Completion of this form is mandatory for all travelers before proceeding.” Travelers should make sure they have an adequate supply of masks and disinfectants before embarking on the trip, he added.
Safety and prevention measures for hotel administration have advised hotel, motel, guesthouse, restaurant and tour operator administrations to disseminate COVID-19 SOPs and ensure their implementation.
It also aimed to ensure that the hotel and the complex were always clean and hygienic, as well as the cleaning of the spaces (entrance halls, toilets, corridors, public bathrooms, parking, hotel entrance, hall , restaurant and spas) and shared items (doorknobs / knobs, elevator). buttons, staircase handrails, table remotes, light switches) with disinfectants.
Provinces were urged to formulate a mechanism of strict administrative measures, including fines, penalties and closures to ensure compliance with SOPs.
The guidelines for restaurants noted that the restaurant and bar opening every day was allowed for a limited time (follow local administration SOPs) where he should deliver meals preferably to rooms, sanitize shopping carts. room service and waiter trays after service.
Foreign tourists should follow the inbound passenger policy regarding testing and quarantine; a vaccination certificate would be required as mentioned above.
However, preventive measures in public spaces and tourist sites included that it was mandatory for all tourists to always wear face masks in public places, wear hand sanitizers and use them frequently.
Drivers transporting people to tourist sites were required to wear masks and wash their hands frequently while before entering a tourist place, a thermal screening of each visitor had to be carried out.
He added that anyone found with an elevated body temperature should be subjected to further examination and, if necessary, could be placed in quarantine, according to the SOPs.
Restaurants in tourist areas have been advised to adhere to guidelines issued by the NCOC for inbound and outbound dining as part of general IPNs.
It further made it possible for scattered camping to be allowed with strict oversight mechanisms.
Tour operators, tourist guides, hotels, guesthouses and catering staff, porters, etc. should be vaccinated in accordance with the national vaccination policy, while the direct link of all tourist sites with the nearest health facility should be formalized by local administrations.
The guidelines also provided that random sampling and sentinel testing should be carried out using rapid antigenic testing (RAT) of tourists by Gilgit Baltistan (GB) at points of entry or in designated places and tourist areas.
He also ordered the NTCB and PTDC to liaise regularly with all stakeholders to provide input into the NCOC’s “Tourism Guidelines Review” to ensure the implementation of COVID SOPs. .
The above recommendations were regularly reviewed by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and will be updated based on international recommendations and best practices.
The ministry acknowledges the contribution of Dr Saira Kanwal and the HSA / HPSIU / NIH team in compiling these guidelines.