Post COVID-19 Travel Health & Safety Measures

Post COVID-19 Travel Health & Safety Measures

With summer here and the weather getting warmer across the country, Canadians want to get out of the house and travel again. Here's a summary of how the travel industry will keep you safe when it's time for your next vacation.

Airports: Focus on enhanced cleaning to include 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; add new signage and announcements to limit interaction and queuing at touchpoints; develop 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, make sure it is carried out in a non-intrusive, walk through manner, through full body infrared scanners using handheld infrared thermometers, and ear gun thermometers; enhance food safety and hygiene at restaurants, with pre-packed foods to avoid handling of food at buffets; redesign immigration halls together with governments and airlines to speed up procedures; if declarations are required upon arrival, electronic options should be used to minimize 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; revisit 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 Packages: Enhanced sanitation, disinfection, and deep cleaning practices for coaches and other vehicles; focus 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; develop health, sanitation, disinfection, and hygiene and food safety protocols at partner restaurants; establish protocols with partners and suppliers, including shops, showrooms, tasting venues and shops, museums, shows theatres, concert halls, factories and farms.

Cruiselines: At the moment, specific guidance on cruising has not been released by the governing bodies but it is important to note that cruiselines have always had stringent cleaning, sanitation and disinfection protocols to manage outbreaks on their ships, specifically norovirus. We expect most of the major lines will all release their own protocols very soon. Norwegian Cruise Line, for example, has released newly enhanced health and safety protocols which include the installation of medical-grade air-filters, H13 HEPA, that removes 99.95% of airborne pathogens as well as enhanced screening protocols. These include touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the voyage. NCL reports increased sanitation measures including 'fogging' before and after each embarkation and debarkation with an increased frequency of stateroom cleanings and sanitizations throughout the cruise.

Do you have questions about travelling in the next year? Contact us so we can help!

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