Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Tourism Dept issues SOP for tourists and destinations
BL Soni

Days after its decision to allow opening of entertainment/amusement Parks including Indoor entertainment activities, tourist places and similar places, the Maharashtra Government on Monday has released SOP for tourists and tourist destinations. In a 15 page document, the Directorate of Tourism has listed dos and don’ts to be strictly observed by tourists in order to avoid the spread of Covid 19.

Tourists will observe social distancing, wear masks, wash and sanitize their hands frequently. Tourists always keep a safe physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) while they are at the destination.

Tourists should avail online / digital ticketing facilities where available and book their tickets well in advance to ensure that service providers have information to make adequate arrangements. All tourists shall have their temperature checked at the entry points using non-contact devices and shall be screened for symptoms such as cold, cough. Service providers shall ensure that privacy is maintained during screening. Only asymptomatic tourists shall be allowed and those having even mild symptoms are advised to remain in isolation in public interest.

Tourists having an abnormal temperature and / or flu like symptoms shall not be allowed to enter the facility. Any tourist displaying potential COVID-19 symptoms and the people accompanying the said tourist shall be moved to a containment area or isolation room for further action.

Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except required for essential and health purposes.

Tourists shall minimize contact with other staff and visitors. As far as possible, a zero-contact policy should be followed at all tourism facilities.

A COVID-19 Team comprising representatives from Police Department, Local Body, District Magistrate and all other relevant departments involved in the operations of each tourist destination shall be formed by the management/administration. The administration may decide to create unidirectional in and out strategy or trail for the visitors, wherever applicable.

Tourist destination Management may regulate the group visits, guided tours, public programs, and special or private events, wherever applicable.

Dining slots facility to be allowed to operate for fixed timing during the day to ensure only limited tourists and avoid overcrowding. Tourists may be requested to make the payment via digital mode / payment apps as much as possible.

According to the SOP, tourist destination management should disseminate information material like short documents, informative posters or signages to reiterate the key messages to the tourists, including the promotion of hand washing (at least 40-60 seconds, all parts of the hand), respiratory hygiene, and coughing etiquette.

Training programs for staff shall be conducted to reinforce appropriate social distancing, cleaning, disinfection, and hygiene procedures and adopt measures that could protect the tourists and the staff at the destination.

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