The freshly published guidebook of the Hungarian Tourism Agency reveals the most important health recommendations. Accordingly, we can get to know which hygiene measures should be introduced by tourism establishments in order to provide everyone’s safety. Let us see what can be expected in the forthcoming period.
The Hungarian Tourism Agency has published the manual for accommodation providers, catering establishments, attractions, and other tourist service providers, suggesting the appropriate way of operation in an epidemic situation. The guidebook contains recommendations and non-binding rules only; however, the Hungarian Tourism Agency is a central, state-owned company responsible for tourism, and the recommendations are largely based on international examples. This means that they might become mandatory soon.
The basic recommendations emphasise the importance of frequent and thorough cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation, as well as the need for staff training, appropriate informing of guests, and continuous control over the measures.
Regarding accommodation, virucidal hand disinfectants are recommended to be provided in the guest areas. The location of the disinfectant should be chosen appropriately: at the entrance, toilets, tables, etc. Disinfectants should be provided both on the side of guests and the staff. The staff should wear a mask or plexiglass face shield, or they should be protected with plexiglass at the counter. In the case of guest request, masks must be provided by the service provider.
The manual emphasises the importance of proper physical distancing which is extremely important in preventing the spread of the virus.
Accordingly, workstations should be set up 1.5 metres apart, and visible signs should be placed every 1.5 metres outside the counter to keep the distance between queuing guests. It is recommended to limit the capacity of the elevators in order to keep at least 1-1.5 metres between people.
According to the manual, the staff should be obligated to wear a mask or plexiglass face shield in restaurants and catering establishments. It is recommended to remind guests to enter the restaurant only after disinfecting their hands with virucidal sanitiser; therefore hand sanitisers must be set up at the entrance.
Employees should minimise contact with guests, and the use of gloves and masks should be made mandatory.
According to Hungarian news portal hvg, catering establishments should maximise their bookings in order to avoid congestion. In the case of à la carte, the introduction of pre-booking is suggested, while buffet meals should be organised in separate shifts. It is also recommended to seat guests in an organised manner, at a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the adjoining table. In the case of queuing guests, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained.
Sugar, spice racks, and common utensils should be disinfected every time; however, guests can also request the so-called “small bags” – individually wrapped, sterilised spices and sweeteners. When serving, the food should be covered with a cloche (plate cover).
As far as spas, built beaches, and wellness areas are concerned, a capacity limit is recommended for the whole area. Only those outdoor and indoor pools should operate where 1.5 metres between guests can be maintained, which is also true for other equipment (rest beds at a maximum distance of 1.5 m per 2 pieces).
It is proposed to increase the 8 m2 unit of the outdoor recreation area per person to 20 m2/person and to calculate the simultaneous capacity based on these parameters.
According to the guideline of the National Centre for Public Health, the Hungarian Tourism Agency also recommends the suspension of the following services: steam cabins and saunas, jacuzzis, and other water attractions (except slides). It is also recommended to make the use of slippers mandatory in all sections and rooms of the spa.
In the case of natural beaches, maintaining and monitoring the recommended distance between guests requires higher attention.
For our own protection, it is necessary to keep a distance of 1.5 metres in both indoor and outdoor areas, and in the water as well.
According to the Hungarian Tourism Agency, it is the responsibility of the beach operator to provide human resources for this task.