Digital booking, fitness certificate a new norm as travel bodies issue SOPs

Before the trip, customers will have to submit fit-to-travel certificate from a doctor and maintain social distancing with other group members on the tour
Masks and medical certificates will become must-carry items for travellers as tour operators and tourism boards devise protocols to resume business in post Covid-19 environment.

Leisure travel came to a standstill due to national and international lockdowns. Until now there is no clarity on when countries will open borders for Indian tourists. On the domestic side, most of travel happening now is of essential and emergency nature.

On Thursday, Thomas Cook released  standard operating procedure listing hygiene norms to be followed by its employees and customers. This includes one time fumigation of offices, health and safety training for it's staff,digital booking processes among others.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which released three phased strategy for revival of tourism last week will require foreign tourists to submit medical certificate and undergo rapid screening Covid-19 test on arrival as a part of its health protocol. 

Thomas Cook said the measures are being introduced in partnership with Apollo Hospitals group following a survey in which 75 per cent of respondents listed health and safety as important concern while booking trips.


Before the trip, customers will have to submit fit-to-travel certificate from a doctor and maintain social distancing with other group members on the tour, Thomas Cook said in its SOPs.

"Our teams have spent a significant time at the drawing board and worked jointly with key travel partners and stakeholders to create this very comprehensive initiative," Thomas Cook chairman Madhavan Menon said in a statement.

The tour operator did not immediately respond on demand and pricing of trips.

Travel industry sources feel demand for leisure travel is unlikely to come till Diwali. "There is no visibility yet on leisure and corporate travel," head of another travel firm remarked.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released three phased strategy for revival of tourism last week focusing on health and safety. Thailand has banned international flights till June 30 and international tourists will be encouraged in second and third phase.

"International tourists coming to Thailand should not travel from or have lived in ongoing local transmission areas. They should not have a history of being in close contact with any probable or confirmed cases. A medical certificate is also required to be presented," TAT said.

"Once arriving in Thailand, tourists are required to undergo the COVID-19 rapid test screening process for reconfirmation, and then depart for a sealed area without making any stops," it added.


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