The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the second phase of measures to rebuild global consumer confidence to encourage the return of traveling. The latest protocols include convention centers, meetings and events, as well as airports and airlines.
Here are the WTTC’s new protocols regarding safe MICE-sector travel:
- Implement physical distancing for seating distribution and aisles, utilizing government guidance if available; create visual support to show intent as appropriate
- Reduce venue capacity limits for participants as appropriate and required by local legislation
- Distinguish between different areas of risk in the venue
- Consider pre-arrival risk assessment questionnaire for participants
- Limit physical interaction and possible queuing at reception and registration using advance registration to enhance participant flow
- Create isolation units outside the venue where possible for those showing COVID-19 symptoms
Protocols relating to airports and airlines have also been devised following close consultation with WTTC members such as Iberia, Emirates Group, Etihad and Oman Aviation Group among others, as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI).
New airport protocols include:
- Enhanced cleaning, including to 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
- 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, it should be carried out in a non-intrusive, walk through manner, through full body infrared scanners using handheld infrared thermometers, and ear gun thermometers
- Possible redesign of immigration halls together with governments and airlines to speed up procedures
Similarly, among the new protocols for airlines include:
- 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
- Revisited 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
Additional and separate measures for the cruise sector and insurance businesses amongst others, are currently in development and will be announced soon.