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WTTC safety guidelines
New WTTC safety guidelines are unveiled.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, has unveiled a range of new global WTTC safety guidelines to restart the sector.

The new Safe Travels protocols have been designed to rebuild confidence among consumers so that they can travel and meet safely once the restrictions are lifted. The WTTC safety guidelines will provide consistency to destinations and countries as well as guidance to travel providers, operators, and travelers, about the new approach to health and hygiene in the post COVID-19 world.

The health and safety of travelers and workers is the central focus of the protocols, which have been drawn up based on the best available medical evidence, and in alignment with guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The protocols also avoid the emergence of multiple standards, which would only delay the sector’s recovery.

“We have learned from the past, especially after the tragedy of 9/11, where the lack of coordination among governments and with the private sector caused long-lasting travel disruption, higher costs and a longer recovery time,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, in a press release statement. “We are delighted that for the first time ever, the global private sector has aligned around these new Safe Travels protocols which will create consistency across the sector. Now we are calling on governments to adopt them so that they can be implemented globally and restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the travel and tourism sector.”

Key measures for hotels and meeting spaces include revisiting guidance for cleaning teams in all areas with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points such as room key cards. Ensuring social distancing for guests and attendees through guidelines and signage in public spaces; retraining staff in infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including hand washing and the use of masks and gloves; removing extraneous items throughout the property; integrating technologies to enable automation, such as introducing contactless payment wherever possible; and offering room service with no-contact delivery methods. Hotels and event spaces should also maintain consistent communication with customers on the new health and safety protocols; and food and beverage outlets and meeting and event spaces should reopen with specific actions in place to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety.

Additional and separate measures for the Aviation and Cruise sectors are still in development and will be announced in due course.

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