Steps for Normalization in Tourism: Food & Beverage Services23 May, 2020
A circular letter revealed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism regarding Controlled Normalization Process in Food & Beverages Services dated May 20, 2020 (“Circular Letter”) to ensure the safety standards prior to re-opening travel and tourism activities in the wake of COVID-19. The Circular Letter sets forth certain measures primarily on hygiene and social distancing for the enterprises conducting food & beverages services.
General Principles and Notification
Any relevant enterprise falling in this scope is required to follow COVID-19 guide lastly updated on April 21, 2020 by the Ministry of Health and to draft their own protocols regarding health and hygiene measures during the controlled normalization period. Additionally, a social distancing plan has to be designated for the areas in use of public and seating places have to be arranged. Those protocols and measures must discernibly be available to the public through booklets, brochures or any similar means for the guests and the personnel. In this sense, the capacity of the facilities has to be adjusted accordingly. Also, the enterprises must notify the maximum capacity of the facility in the entrance and such notification ought to be readable by the guests. To boost the awareness, the Circular Letter points out the requirement of informing the guests and the personnel in relation to the measures through panels displayed on the entrance and outside of the facility.
The Circular Letter further adds that the temperature of the guests must be checked with thermal cameras and contact-free devices. To this end, guests having temperature higher than 38 degrees must be rejected to welcome in the facility and be advised to visit a healthcare organization. Antiseptics and masks must be provided to the guests before entering the facilities, if they do not have any with them. The guests should continue using their masks except during dining period. Payments must be done with contact-free devices and if not possible, the devices must be sterilized following each use.
Dining, Kitchen and Services
Social distancing measures between the guests must also be facilitated in the dining hall with 1.5 meters between the tables and 60 cm between chairs and all tables must have antiseptics or cologne for the guests. However, guests within the same group/table are exempted from the social distancing measures. When in line, guests must keep 1-meter distance from each other, and open buffets must be isolated from the guests. Food services operated in open buffets must also be provided by the personnel. Notifications and social distancing measures must be arranged in the elevators with only 1/3 of the total capacity during use. In kitchen, all food products must be kept in the fridges, enclosed and separated to prevent cross contamination. All operations must comply with the food security and kitchen hygiene requirements of the relevant laws and regulations. All kitchen personnel must be provided with the necessary equipment, masks, and antiseptics during meal preparations and must be informed on best practices with visual notifications. No other personnel must be authorized to enter the kitchen.
Hygiene and Upkeep
The facilities must be properly cleaned, disinfected and reported by the responsible personnel. All personnel must wear masks and protective gears during operations and dispose them into separated bins. Single use towels and paper, cologne or antiseptics must be provided in the designated areas in the facilities to ensure general hygiene of both guests and personnel. Ventilation of the facilities with clean air and sterilization of the air conditioners must be done periodically. For minimal contact between persons, automatic doors or similar measures must be adjusted into the facilities. The personnel must comply with their own designated shifts and special training must be given to those. Periodic briefing on personnel’s health must be reported and temperature checks with thermal cameras or contact-free devices must be made to ensure safety of other persons.
To conclude, the anxiety of the guests and personnel in terms of the food& beverage services is aimed to be mitigated through the Circular Letter.
Ezgi Ceren Aydoğmuş & Sinan Erkan