1. Introduction & approach

This Protocol is prepared by Pagumen Tour and Travel Share Company. It is   developed   based on the guidelines issued by WHO, UNWTO, WTTC, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Ethiopia (TE).

It contains a background to the development and objectives   of the protocols.  All safety measures are stated under four pillars namely, operation and staff preparedness, delivering safe experience, building guests’ confidence and the collaborative partnership areas   among different actors.

The protocol is organized depending on the nature of the business and the type and degree of customer engagements while  running  the operation . Most of the safety protocols and measures are overlapping and are used as common reference  to address  the most common travel safety problems . The protocols that addresses the safety problems with regard to   MICE and Ticketing  businesses  are treated separately because of the nature and forms of engagement with customers.

The protocol  is complemented by guide lines respectively developed  in the same way. The guide also  explains the   role and responsibilities of each staff operating along the existing line of businesses in order to run our Tour Operation, Ticketing, Car rent and MICE businesses. Similarly the safety precautions and visitor’ behavioral expectations  are clearly stated.

These protocol gives a detailed precaution measures to be in place in order to create a safe environment for our International and domestic clients , guests and our staff while re engaging in the four line of businesses that our company is running. It provides measures   which has already been taken and also those which will be taken to operate in the “New Normal” global situation.  Note this protocol is developed inline with the Directive No 30/2020 issued by Ministry of health.

  1. Background

The world has changed with COVID-19. After a complete lockdown in some of the source markets the   travel community is looking forward to travel to destinations with a new spirit and changing travel culture within the current “New Normal” situation. A coordinated effort has been made by stakeholders to build the confidence of travelers Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia have recently taken actions to open the country for International tourism with all the safety measures in place. The Ethiopian Airlines has started flying to several destinations. By the same token Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ethiopia have jointly taking measures like disinfecting local destinations. Our company has developed   this travel safety protocol to make maximum precaution for clients and employees so that all actors could make integrated effort in promoting safe travel to Ethiopia.

The travel safety protocols  in this working paper are developed based on the following conventional pillars adopted different actors operating in the tourism Industry..

Pillar 1: Operational and Staff preparedness

Pillar 2. Ensuring a safe experience

Pillar 3. Rebuilding trust and Confidence

Pillar 4. (Partnership) Endorsing and implementing Enabling Policies and Integrating Innovation

  1. Objective: –

The objectives of this ravel safety protocol are: –

  1. To ensure health safety of our International and domestic customers while getting our services in tour operation, ticketing, car rent and MICE.
  •  To implement the national travel safety Protocol and best practices and ensure health safety of our new and existing customers following the opening of Ethiopia as a Covid 19 safe travel destination.
  • To start and activate our busines along the four line of businesses with a maximum care through a minimum risk-based approach and generate revenue in a “New Normal” situation.
  • To Educate and create awareness of our employees to protect themselves and their customers and society at large
  • To discharge our corporate social responsibility(CSR{)
  1. TOUR OPERATION (Inbound, Outbound, Domestic)
    1. Operational and staff preparedness 
  2. Obtained approval from the relevant national authorities signifying compliance with the provisions of National travel safety protocols.
  3. We have developed and started to implement a one year Covid 19 prevention plan of the Company that include a monthly disinfection and regular cleaning of cars and offices.
  4. Established administrative protocol and guide line to be implemented by the staff and implement company plan accordingly
  5. Basic health check is conducted for the staff when necessary.
  6. The company has made a change on office layout and made new sitting arrangements of the staff according to the national safety protocol. At least 1.5-meter distance is kept between seats of a client and a staff.
  7. The number of front-line staff is reduced to a minimum.
  8. The staff is trained to use the old Ethiopian traditional greeting style expressed in bowing and  “ Tenayistilign”. Tenayistilign is Amharic word for “let health be given to you”
  9. All the staff regularly wear face mask during operation time and also comply to wear it during social engagements..
  10. The drivers, cashiers and cleaning staff wear gloves during operations and field work.
  11. The company has introduced mobile banking system using s designated Bank.
  12. A pos machine is installed to facilitate electronic card payments.
  13. In a situation when these options are not possible, cashiers use gloves
  14. There is very limited use of paper work and most of communications will take place virtually using emails, telephone and when necessary zooming.
  15. the company will report to the concerned authority for a support and further facilitates the safe return of the client back home.
  16. The staff ensures that the rest room, Tables, Charis and other equipment used for daily functions are daily cleaned and sanitized.
  17. The company has contracted with a certified disinfecting company, The logistics section of the company  disinfects vehicles after each trip.
  18. The company trains Tour Operation staff  to  execute operational plans :
  19. A prevention guide line    prepared for Tour operation section  of the company to follow while executing  operational plan.
  20. The staff has been given basic training on the means of transmission and preventive procedures recommended by local health authorities or as required.
  21. The company provides its employees regular updates on the pandemic and changing instructions about each development around the pandemic.
  22. The company avails sanitizer and gloves recommended by authorities to the staff for daily use
  23. The company provided separate place for Tea and lunch time to be used on a shifting basis. All staff members use their personal tea cups and plates.
  24. High level training  on the ever changing instructions is given to the company staff by professionals assigned by health authorities.
  25. The staff is regularly updated with latest information provided by the health authorities and WHO.
  26. The implementation of the protocol and the guidelines is a priority at each management meeting and regular monitoring is conducted on the level of implementation.
  1. Delivering a safe experience Partnership with service providers
  2. The company only operates with suppliers certified by Health authorities who have put the national protocol and implementation guidelines in place
  3. Regularly checks and makes sure that additional safety measures are introduced by service providers (hotels, Vehicles, destinations, restaurants, museums etc) aligning with day to day instructions given by health authorities. 
  4. Regularly disinfects vehicles using disinfectant after each field trip.
  5. Uses   COVID-19 first aid prevention supplies approved by authorities. This include among others thermometer
  6. Conducts regular monitoring and render support to the  cleaning unit including drivers  to focus on a high frequency touchpoints.
  7. Avails approved alcohol- based hand sanitizer  at the get of our office for incoming guests  use .
  8. Provide surgical Masks to  company incoming guests in case  they lost it or come with out it.  
  9. Avails face masks  and provide to those who do not have mask.
  10. Avoids seat rotations made by passengers. Seating plan in vehicles is arranged with no rotation. The company seating plan is suggested as follows to avoid price inflation as well: –
  1. A   4WD vehicle to only two guests, with a driver and a guide. 
  2. A   High roof Minibus to 8 clients . additional one guide and a driver
  3. coaster bus to 15 clients, with one guide and a driver
  4. tourist standard coach bus to 30 clients, with one guide and  a driver

Note:- tailor made arrangement is possible up on request when booking for travel.

  • Waste bin with liner bags are availed in each vehicle and it is responsibly disposed at disposal stations.
    • Implemented customer processes including guest information and minimizing physical contact: 
  • The International guests are required to present a  Covid free certificate  from certified health institution valid for five days starting from one day before  departure date .
  • Reports to health authority when there is a suspected case
  • Complies with concerned authorities when necessary to make health check and testing of the guest.
  • Avoids social gatherings which is not included in the itinerary unless there is special and trustful arrangement
  • Masks are available to guests on purchase
  • Makes time arrangement for using the service at Hotels, destinations, museums , Venues, restaurants etc. to avoid long que.
  • Introduces to the guests   “ Tenayistilign” with a traditional greeting style explained under article
  • Informs guests to wash hands and facilitate the process when getting out and coming back to a vehicle.
    • The company makes sure that partners such as Hotels, , meeting venues, meeting facilities ,museums, restaurants, local agents and guides at destinations, have trained their staff on the basis of likeminded protocols and  consistently put likeminded protocol and guidelines in place.
  •  Ensures that disinfectants they use are authorized
  • Ensures that staffs are trained and are implementing the guidelines
  • Avoids guests  from handling their food at buffets . Instead the company deals with hotels to serve its guests with alas kart menu.
  • Ensures that Hotels and restaurants regularly clean coffee machines and drinking cups, tables, chairs etc..
  • Ensures facilities and cooking and drinking utensils at remote camping destinations are clean.
  • Ensures that the partnering hotel uses dish washer machines and regularly disinfecting places and tools with frequent touches 
  • Ensures that the partnering Hotel and restaurants make maximum precautions in minimizing physical contact through table spacing and seating arrangements. This takes place in relation to a provision under the directive no 30/2013  article 5 sub article 7 issued by MOH,
  • Ensures if partners have  put  contactless payment methods in place.
  • Ensures the available time with less number  of guests in Hotels, Museums, Restaurants etc.
    •  Ensuring Gusts’ trust & confidence  
  • Built web link to update all customers with the Company protocol and the prevention guideline
  • Update customers with company guidelines and changing instructions from health authorities up on arrival.
  • Support and ensure that relevant information placed at the right places in the form of signage and illustrations.
  • Inform customers with preventive guidelines developed by the Company  and  also update with upcoming information from health authorities  on the status of destinations  before the commencement of the tour 
  • Established a reporting system when   new  cases are detected , report to the relevant authority and make facilitation for the safe return of the client.
  • The management of the Company takes the issue of Covid 19 as a priority agenda and evaluates during  each management meeting
  • Take record of the contacts of each traveler along the route.
  • Ticketing
    • All conventional protocols and guidelines related to staff, Clients and service providers stated in the above framework are applicable.
    • Disseminate up to date information related to CVID 19 to domestic clients (including shareholders an BODs ) via Internet and social media
    • Guests coming to our office should use face Masks when visiting our office
    • Customers are instructed to take a seat at designated chairs considering the need for social distancing
    • Customers use telephone calls for booking and email to confirm.
    • Customers can effect payment through bank or electronically with out physical appearance
    • The company can avail ticket through internet or social media.
  1. MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/convention and Exhibitions/event)
  2. Commitment to the protocols
    1. The company signs a pledge with venue owners and other service providers to adhere to the industry protocol. Signs contract agreement defining duties and responsibilities of the company and the venue owners and service provider
    1. Dedicate a special link in the Company website e or develop new website(depending on the volume and nature of the event) to update attendees with required information
    1. Will communicate with relevant government authorities  to effectively implement the standard Industry protocol
  3. Implement Crowd Control Manage attendee flow by monitoring access route , cueing space, entrance and separate business area with a control access.Uses online platform to register clients and have their Badges Mange the number of stand owners on exhibition site taking the carrying capacity of the venue in to considerationManages the number of visitors taking the available free  space for  movement  in to consideration.Separates catering spaces and ensure  physical distancing
  4. Encourage & Enforce Measures International attendees of required to present a Covid free certificate from certified health institution valid for 5 days starting from the date of departureSets  up medical service points with a dedicated medical team (e.g., medical support, patient handling, treatment and clinical support, patient transport and treatment, clinical waste management). Trains deployed   staff on epidemic prevention (e.g., master the skills of disinfectant use, cleaning public places, and emergency disposal).  Communicates with health authorities on the emergence of new cases.Assigns  a staff member to follow up  directives and updates from relevant authorities and inform  participants on time. Establishes hotline station  to answer  to questions from attendees.  Prohibits  when necessary  side events that brings huge number of people closer to the venue of the meetings or events
  5. Framework recommendations to operate business events, exhibitions/trade fairs in a safe environment
  1. Ensuring personal safety
  2. Perform risk analysis before the commencement of the agreement and provide information to  client company planning to purchase  MICE products and service
  3. Provide  masks, disinfectant gel, disposable tissues to participants and  support staff . The seating arrangement is fixed and rotation is prohibited.
  4. Enabling Physical distancing
    1. Introduce barriers and use signage to provide information at entrance halls, restaurants, catering outlets, and toilets). Add physical transparent partition on counters (e.g., admission, registration, and customer service).
    1. Closely work with venue owners and ensure the implementation of the Industry protocol and avail necessary facilities for use.
    1. Increasing health and safety measures
    1. Implements a no- contact policy (e.g. avoid shaking hands and consider alternative greetings; encourage contactless payment; plan dedicated space for exhibitor and visitor to interact safely).
    1. Conducts temperature monitoring
    1. In case of new cases, prepare temporary isolation area and inform the local authority
    1. When necessary establishes extra  sanitizing and hand washing stations
    1. Ensures venues and other facilities are always ventilated
  1. Event management procedures
  2. Before the meeting
  3. Check and follow the advice of the relevant authority about the possibility of hosting MICE services
  4. Check if the venue has made the necessary preparation and implementation of preventive guide lines approved by health authorities.
  5. Develop and agree on a preparedness plan to prevent infection at meeting or event.
  6. Ensures and agrees with the service seeker and health authorities   to scale down the event and  limit the number of attendee.
  7. Stocks  sufficient supplies and materials, including masks, tissues and hand sanitizer for all participants.
  8. Informs international clients about the safety procedures ahead of time. Most importantly, international attendees are required to present a covid 19 -free certificate from certified  institutions valid five days starting from a day  before departure
  9. Communicates on time the  preparedness plan to all stakeholders of events  using available communication channel.( mainly through email and telephone)
  10. Build detailed data  bank of  organizers, participants, caterers, and visitors at the event   with their  contact details: mobile telephone number, email and address where they are staying.
  11. Makes sure that  their details will be shared with local public health authorities if any participant becomes ill with suspected infectious disease. If they do not agree to this, they cannot attend the event or meeting.
  12. Develops (in collaboration with local authority )  and notifies   a response plan to attendees  in case of new infection :
    1. Ensures the availability of a room or area where someone who is feeling unwell or has symptoms can be safely isolated   from the attendee.
    1. Communicates with local health centers or authorities in case of  infection to transfer to health centers and ensure the safe return of the attendee.
    1. Communicate this  safety plan in advance to concerned authorities and all  partner ahead of an event.
    1. Informs meeting participants on the health and safety protocols during the event.
      1. Make record of travel history and information  of the attendee and contacts  during the event
        1. All  the details of the staff  , drivers,  vehicles   who  will  have contact with the attendees  will  be registered  ahead of time and during the event,   all  contact details  of  the attendee and the staff including drivers will meticulously recorded
        1. During the Meeting or EventAdvises participants in advance that if they have any symptoms or feel unwell, they should not attend. Provides information or a briefing, both orally and in writing, on COVID-19 and the measures that we are taking  to make the event safe for participants.
  13. Builds trust by repeatedly  showing that  greeting could only be done  by saying  hello without touching.  Here “tenayistilign”, an Ethiopian traditional greeting style will be shown.
  14. Ensures hand-washing or use of an alcohol rub by all participants at the meeting or event
  15. Ensures every participant wear a mask before entering the event venue.
  16. Enforce participants to cover their faces with mask and supply tissues and closed bins to dispose of them.
  17. In addition to  notices and signages announcement will be made on   contact details or a health hotline number that participants can call for advice or give information.
  18. Make a display of dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub prominently around the venue.
  19. Every time queues are spaced out and regulated by the staff during registration, coffee breaks and other relevant areas where queuing is required.
  20. Arrange seats so that participants are at least two meters apart.
  21. Revisit table set up and limit number of participants /seat as indicated in the directive no 30/2020 issued by Ministry of Health
  22. Ensures that venue windows are opened and the room is well ventilated
  23. If anyone who starts to feel unwell, we take immediate action to implement the existing preparedness plan or call your hotline.
  • After  the meeting  The names and contact details of all participants  will be maintained for at least 6 months  and will be handed over to the health  authorities. If someone at the meeting or event was isolated as a suspected COVID-19 case, we let all participants know this. They should be advised to monitor themselves for symptoms as prescribed by Ministry of health  for quarantine. Participants (Both national and international)who  develops even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e., a temperature of 37.3 C or more) are advised to stay at home and make  self-isolation and inform  their healthcare provider giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.

Operational Guidelines

  1. Guide line for Logistics and Car rental
  2.  Cleaning and disinfection of vehicles:
    1.  The logistics section has trained drivers to disinfect most touched parts of a vehicle while on a tour. These most importantly include, seats and seat belts, inside and outside door handles, buckles and life saver coats while travelling by boat.
    1. Vehicles must be disinfected by professional company and it is mandatory to makes sure that the vehicles are disinfected using authorized disinfectant. This takes place each time the vehicle comes back from a field work.
    1. Avails sufficient amount of sanitizer and waste bin inside vehicles
    1. Places a leaflet of guidelines inside each vehicle for customers to read and follow.
    1. The person that cleans vehicles uses rubber gloves when cleaning
    1. Dispose waste collected in waste bin inside the vehicles and uses clean   materials in a responsible way at a designated area.
    1. Before the commencement of the tour, the company staff ensures that partners at destinations such as meeting Venues and facilities, Hotels, museums, restaurants, parks, meeting venues, local and International agents and guides at destinations, have trained their staff and implement likeminded protocols to prevent infections
  3. Guidance for Drivers &  Guides: –
  4.  Personal hygiene of drivers –  
    1. Make sure that enough amount of sanitizer is in the vehicle
    1. Disinfect seats and parts of the vehicle frequently touched by guests once in a day . 
    1. Reduce interactions with people including passengers  and use hand sanitizer after each interaction.
    1. Wear glove when dealing with passengers’ luggage and wash or use Sanitizer then after .
    1. Always wear face mask.
    1. Ensure that vehicle is washed and fully disinfected before the commencement of a field work
    1. Check passengers for temperature when suspecting cases until health professionals appear. However, this still requires the permission of the passenger 
  5.  Physical distancing requirements: –
    1. Always keep social distances within a limit given by relevant authorities. 
    1. Ask passengers to sit in the back seat to maintain physical distance
    1. While driving 4WD no one should sit in the front passenger seat. The company makes maximum effort  to use driver guide. In the absence of the driver guide the company makes maximum safety  to use  a cotch  guide when necessary.  This could be concluded when booking for travel.
    1. Try to limit  the number of passengers in each vehicle to  half the number of the total seats in the vehicle or boats operating in lakes (in most cars, 50% of seats). However the company ensures maximum safety bay limiting the number as indicated in the company protocol to avoid price inflation.
    1.  If there is only one passenger, sit them as far from the driver as possible (i.e. in the rear left seat).
  6.  Guidance for passengers/Tourists/:- i.
    1.    Personal Hygiene:
      1. Passengers must comply with requests from the driver to implement COVID-19 protective measures.
      1. Must always use face masks.
      1. Must use hand sanitizer before and after you have entered or exited a vehicle.
      1. Should use hand sanitizer or wash hands regularly.
      1. In national parks or remote areas of visit, wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and then dry hands thoroughly.
    1. Physical Distancing & Seat Arrangements:
      1. Physical distancing between the driver, the coach guide and passengers is important, even in smaller vehicles.
      1. Sit in the rear passenger seats only – tourists must not sit in the front passenger seat next to the driver.
      1. Independent passengers   sit in the rear left-hand side passenger seat, diagonally opposite the driver.
      1. Ensure that the number of passengers is limited in each vehicle as per the agreement signed when booking for a travel.
      1.  Consider minimizing shared rides so passengers are not travelling with individuals unknown to them.
  1. Avoid sharing materials.
  1. Guidance for Wildlife visit – Apply zones for specific purposes & enhance visitors’ experience. Such as camping zone, wildlife viewing zone, parking zone by considering social distances. Visitor’s should respect the minimum social distance with wild animals. Visitor’s should not feed wild animals.Visitor’s should not remove Sanitizing materials in the nature sites & Wildlife areas.Establish permanent or mobile wash rooms, toilets, hand wash facilities at camp sites, entry, en-route the nature and exit points.Manage the number of service givers in national parks to reduce interactions with visitors. Beside focus on alternative employment opportunities such as on the conservation of the park . Introduce a one stop wildcard payment to have access to visit as many national parks as clients may be interested to see. Tour operators and visitors should be prepared to have adequate number of necessary tour equipment’s. E.g., Map, GPS, Safety items, First aid kit, and sun glasses e.t.c.
    1.   Who tourists can Travel With:
      1. Arrange vehicle for service givers (local guides, Scout, Cook…) to independently travel and don’t mix up with tourists en-route to attraction sites.
      1. Apart from the driver, only people from the same isolation group (household unit or „bubble‟) can travel in the same vehicle
      1.  Visitation with other residents is not permitted
  1. Visitors Behavioral Expectations: Listen to the Company driver or the guide for daily updates and instructions given by the national health authorities. Be feeling well and relaxed on the date/time of visit.  Complete health screening prior to entering the facility, including a temperature check for fever over 38 degrees Celsius (where available) and a questionnaire. Continuously wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while inside the facility or while visiting outside the facility.  Sign in and out of all visits.   Be escorted by site staff to the resident’s room and remain in the resident’s room for the duration of the visit other than when assisting with required quality of life or care activities (e.g. meal time) or supporting an outdoor visit. Visitation with other residents is not permitted.

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