History is being made and we all are part of this. This is the time when the entire world is trying to phase out the lockdown and drive it’s way to normal life. But will the definition of ‘normal’ remain similar to that we are familiar with? Not for a few months at least, social distancing and people wearing masks will be the new normal.
Changes are happening all around the world to ensure citizen’s and travelers’ safety.
Airports across the world are maintaining high standards to ensure sanitization. Thermal screening, baggage sanitization, and reduced facilities should be expected at the airports. Masks and gloves are mandatory, free food will not be provided by many airlines. Hand luggage will be reduced and web check-ins, mostly, be the only way to check-in. Tourist will be tested for Coronavirus or will have to be quarantined for 14 days.
Iceland has recently announced that travelers will have a choice to either get tested for Corona virus upon arrival, or prove that they are corona virus free through documents, or stay quarantined for 14 days. Travelers would also have to install and register for an official tracing app. Non – Schengen citizens are still not allowed to enter Iceland. Know more.
Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary will be opening borders from 15th June will similar conditions like Iceland.
Greece & Portugal are all set to welcome tourists soon and quarantine with not be necessary for them. Only some health check-ups will be mandatory. Italy is opening it’s borders for travelers from European union from June 3. Netherland & Spain will be easing the quarantine requirements for tourists, it never stopped welcoming tourists from European Union, including UK.
Saloons, cafes, restaurants, and cafes will be allowed to operate but with reduced capacities, keeping social distancing at priority. Recently, some trials were going on in Amsterdam to try Covid-safe ways to let people dine out.
Hotels are changing its way to operate drastically keeping minimum contact at priority. this lockdown has given the industry time to evaluate the feasible ways to serve the customers. Following changes in guest experience should be expected in coming weeks:
- Regular cleaning and disinfection at regular intervals a day by staff members wearing PPE and other safety gears. Multiple hand sanitizing stations through out the hotels.
- Buffets would not be allowed.
- All the departments including kitchen would be regulated to cut done handling. This would put many jobs at risk too.
- Partition screen are being put dining tables and fixed duration for dining are also being implemented.
- Extra amenities in the guest rooms like mini bar, carpets, coffee makers and more will be removed by many hotels. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in each room.
- Digital payments will be promoted.
- Check-in and check-outs will be done from behind the screens, something like video calling. Projects are being designed where customers get a virtual key to their rooms, for the lifts, so that they don’t have to touch any buttons.
- Every hotel will soon be coming up with different attractive designs complimenting their brand colors for screens.
- Strict rules would be observed in common areas.
- Beaches are being divided into plots in order to manage social distancing, and access will be controlled by using QR codes for booking a patch and AI and sensors for monitoring.
But, the bigger question is that would we appreciate spending, after being quarantined for this long, to visit a place which will again be isolated, not much crowd. Some people traveled to meet new people and enjoy crowd, it will be difficult for them
Some hotels in Spain are already doing this. Among many is Vivood landscape hotel has explained all the measures it is taking to maintain hygiene.
Singapore has launched an audit “SG clean” programme to certify hotels that will test the hotel on 7 points to make sure that the hotel is safe for the guests. The programme focuses on appointing SG Clean manager, implementing proper sanitization, check-ups, maintaining records of guests and more. Know more about the Singapore audit policy. Similarly, Portugal has come up with “Clean & Safe” certifications to gain visitors’ confidence in the safety of the destination.
More offers will be rolled out to attract customers, like Japan is ready to pay half of your trip cost when you visit there land. more properties will be coming up with no payment upfront deals and free cancellation policies.
There are still a few countries like South Korea and Sweden which has still not imposed lockdown. They are handling the situation by aggressive testing, contact tracing, and isolation.
Restaurants & Malls
Many countries across the world are doing contact-tracing through various country-dedicated apps like South Korea monitors movement of infected patients and those in quarantine through “COVID-19 Smart Management System (SMS)” and similarly India is using Aarogya Setu App.
Malls and restaurants across the world are following sanitization procedures like testing body temperature, sanitizing hands, disinfecting clothes, making customers sit on alternative tables, and minimizing contact to ensure safe environment for the customers. Customers are not being permitted without masks and the apps.
The lockdown came with several losses and cons, but it had a few pros as well. The Earth got down time for maintenance. Nature is rejuvenating, pollution around the world has decreased. People across the globe who couldn’t spend even 1 hour with their families or loved ones got time to recreate some magical memories together. We all are in this together and this too shall pass…
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