Covid-19: Abu Dhabi issues new 40-point protocol for tour guides, operators

Abu Dhabi - The department warned that legal measures against will be taken against the offenders.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 5 May 2021, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 May 2021, 7:03 PM

Abu Dhabi has issued a new list of Covid-19 guidelines and safety protocols for tour guides and operators to safeguard the health of everyone, including visitors and tourists.

In a new circular, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT) directed all tour guides, tour operators and desert camp operators to comply with the newly released Covid-19 safety protocols. These include allowing a maximum of 20 clients in open spaces and 10 clients in closed spaces per tour, undergoing Covid-19 test prior to tour, wearing face masks all the time and tour guides obliged to prepare one-way routes to avoid groups crossing whenever possible.

The department warned that legal measures against will be taken against the offenders according to the legislation in force.

Here are the tour guidelines

1. Maximum of 20 clients in open spaces and 10 clients in closed spaces are allowed per tour accompanied by one tour guide, with strict adherence to all precautionary measures.

2. Tour guide should undergo Covid-19 testing prior to tour, and according to set frequency in relevant circulars.

3. Tour guide can resume work if the test result is negative.

4. If the tour guides experience any symptoms of the disease, even if they are mild, they should refrain from providing the service.

5. Tour guides must be instructed to install the Al Hosn application.

6. Temperature checks must be done for all individuals (tour guide and clients). Tour operators are responsible for providing thermometers.

7. Any client with a body temperature of 37.3 degree Celsius or higher should be escorted to a designated isolation room in close proximity of the main entrance and the 'Estijaba' service at the Department of Health (8001717) must be alerted in line with local Covid-19 rules and regulations.

8. Alternatively, the suspected case should be directed to the nearest healthcare provider for evaluation. The individual will be allowed to leave the premises immediately if he wants, but the guide should obtain his Emirates ID and contact details.

9. Clients with flu-like symptoms to be denied access to the tour.

10. Any client who displays flu-like symptoms to be reported to "Estijaba" service at 8001717.

11. The tour guide must inform clients about the applicable prevention and hygiene measures, restrictions, limitations or modifications to the service.

12. The tour guide must inform the group of how the visit will be carried out, the route and the rules and/or possible restrictions applied by the various providers (museums, monuments, natural areas, etc.)

13. The tour guide should urge clients to comply with safety measures.

14. Tour guides to prepare one-way routes to avoid groups crossing whenever possible (small towns, historical centres), coordinating in any case with other tour guides. The tour guide must contact the attraction and confirm the booking for the tour.

15. All clients and tour guides are required to wear masks at all times. Non-compliance will lead to refusal of entry to the facilities and tour.

16. Tour guides who choose to wear gloves must do so in front of the visitors and use them correctly, although washing of hands before and after the visit and whenever equipment is shared is recommended.

17. Clients must be instructed to avoid socialising with people outside their own group.

18. The safe physical distance of 2m between the tour guide and clients, and between clients themselves, should be maintained throughout the tour.

19. Forms of greeting and/or saying goodbye that involve physical contact with the client should be avoided.

20. Avoid greeting other tour guides, providers and clients with physical contact, including shaking hands.

21. Ensure availability of hand sanitisers for the clients.

22. Immediately throw away any personal hygiene waste, such as tissues or PPE, in authorised waste bins or containers.

23. Wash hands frequently with soap and water as much as possible. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitiser. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing, and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces (knobs, railings, etc.)

24. Disinfect personal items (glasses, mobile phones, microphones, etc.) frequently with soap and water, or with a disinfectant solution. Use specific products applied with a cloth, or special disinfectant wipes, to disinfect electronic equipment.

25. Properly disinfected or single-use headsets/radio guides should be used. If they are not single-use, the client will disinfect their hands before and after use. The client will return these devices, placing them all in a bag which will be sealed. Other alternatives can be considered.

26. Client voice reception systems (headphones, etc.) that are not single-use must always be disinfected at the end of the service and, in any case, before being used by another person.

27. One disposable cover per person should be used for microphones that may be used consecutively by several tour guides.

28. As a general rule, all materials used during the service must be disinfected at the end of the service.

29. Avoid sharing work equipment or devices with other tour guides as much as possible. If certain equipment or devices are shared (walkies, radio guides, telephones, umbrellas, etc.), the tour guide must establish a cleaning and disinfection regime.

30. Walking tours and stops for while seeing monuments must be done in open and/or wide spaces, maintaining a safe distance of 2m.

31. The tour guide should coordinate with suppliers in order to avoid crowding when groups arrive.

32. For attractions that have specific dress code guidelines, the tourist guide must inform the visitors to dress appropriately. In case the tour guide is providing clothing, it should be single-use only.

33. If clients are to be transported by cars provided by the organisation, the maximum number of people allowed in the car is three (including driver).

34. If visitors are to be transported by buses, the seating arrangement in each row should respect physical distancing rules.

35. Each passenger must sit in the same seat every time they get on the vehicle.

36. Sanitiser gel and wipes must be available in the car and buses for guest use.

37. Masks should be worn by all commuters throughout the journey.

38. Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each trip.

39. Printed material such as maps, brochures, etc. should be avoided. If this is not possible, they should be enclosed in plastic so that they can be easily cleaned and disinfected.

40. Use cards and other contactless means of payment as much as possible, and avoid the use of cash

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