Are Hotels Safe in Turkey During Coronavirus?

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With the coming of autumn, after a few months at home, and some vague memories of summer, we are all excited to have a great season. However, we have some questions in our minds for a while about traveling, accommodation, and food services.

The Ministry of Health had announced the precautions hotels should take due to the coronavirus that affects the whole world.

Firstly, the Culture and Tourism Ministry published a circular related to changes and significant issues in accommodation, and all hotels have to comply with the provisions of this circular. It covers Covid-19 and hygiene rules & practices prepared.

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy (The Culture and Tourism Minister of Turkey) clarified the most curious questions for the vacation. Here are the “corona rules” set by The Ministry of Health for hotels:

General Rules
– Records of the guests staying at the hotels will be kept completely and regularly.
– The registration form will include contact, passport information, the countries where it has been in the last 14 days, and the travel plan within the country after the stay.
– Guests will be provided with written information about the measures and practices regarding hygiene with the Covid-19 at the reception and the rules to be followed by the guests.
– Body temperature measurements will be made with a thermal sensor at the entry and exit, and biometric facials will be recorded and tracked simultaneously.
– Necessary arrangements will be carried out so that the hotel meetings, teleconferences, and training programs for employees can be held online.
– Printable wall charts will be prepared and hung in personnel areas and general areas for Covid-19 and hygiene practices. The schemes will be translated into at least 3 languages.
Hotel management will make an individual decision to provide bellboy service during the pandemic. Those who want to get this service will sign an information protocol.
– In case of detection of a patient, symptom, or suspect case (including the requirements of the Epidemic Disease Crisis Management), the people and institutions to be reached will be determined.

Hotel Organization
Online Check-in: Guests will be able to check-in without contact via the hotels’ website or on their mobile devices.
Social distance rule: There will be a distance of 1.5 meters between employees and guests in all social areas in the hotels. The tables in the restaurants will be cleaned only when the guests empty the table.
Personnel planning: Staff will work in specific groups to prevent the risk of infection.

Shared Areas
– Animation programs will continue with the capacity warning in the halls. Alcohol-based antiseptic/disinfectant will be available at the entrance to the areas.
– A minimum distance of 1.5 meters between tables and 60 cm between chairs will be kept.
– Hard-to-clean toys (plush animals and ball pools) will not be available in playgrounds and children’s clubs.

General Cleaning And Maintenance
– Windows in rooms and other closed areas will be open during daily routine cleaning and rooms will be ventilated for at least one hour after cleaning.
– The person who will perform the room cleaning needs to wear gloves. Gloves will be removed after each room cleaning and hands will be washed properly.
– Particular attention will be paid to toilet cleaning including frequently touched surfaces, door handles, buttons, telephone handset, television, and air conditioning control.
– Textile products will be collected carefully to prevent dust or particles from raising.

Tourism Certification Program in Questions
According to the circular, all hotels have to follow the rules for hotels set by The Ministry of Health that I mentioned above.

In addition to this circular, hotels that want to gain more confidence will receive tourism certification optionally by meeting the requirements. Let me explain in detail by answering frequently asked questions.

1. Is there an obligation to get a certificate?
Facility managers will decide whether to get the certification. No obligation to get this document, it is optional. However, there is an obligation to comply with the circular that I mentioned above.

2. What is the purpose of certification?
The purpose of this document is to prevent the transmission of the virus by planning the studies to be carried out to meet the expectations of high hygiene and safety, which concerns the consumer.

3. Can the hotel be opened even if it does not receive documents?
The hotel can be opened even if there is no document. There is no restriction on this issue.

4. When will the hotels be opened?
Since the hotels (except thermal facilities) are not closed by the ministry, they will function its operations whenever it is convenient for managers. They don’t need to wait for news from the ministry.

5. Does this certification cover only hotels?
No, it’s not just for hotels. Valid for all chains of travel. It is valid in many areas such as airlines, airports, transfer vehicles, hotels, restaurants, museums. There are separate criteria for each.

6. Will the document benefit the consumer?
It will provide an advantage for touristic enterprises to meet the expectations of the consumers and achieve positive perception and competitive advantage.

7. How will your guests be aware of this document?
The certificate holder facilities will be published on the ministry site. Also, the top priority is transparency. By reading the data matrix on the boards located in the visible places at the entrance of the hotel, anyone can learn whether that institution has a certificate or not.

8. Will open buffets be removed when the document is received?
No, it won’t. There is no such situation, only the way of serving in open buffets is changing. The presentations will be behind the visors.

9. Who will check the document?
After receiving the document, it will often be checked to see if it complies with the rule. This audit will be done by the institution or organization determined by the ministry.

10. For how long will this document exist?
The arrangements made within the scope of this document will automatically end with all the provisions after the removal of the measures applied by our government to reduce the Covid-19 virus infectious and its effects and to stop its spread in our country.

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