The question: “Can we go on holiday this year?”
The answer will vary from person to person and family to family, and it is an understatement to say that the holiday of this year will be far different than last year’s. However, it is still possible to enjoy a break from everyday life – safely and healthily. As well, expectations of the ideal holiday may have changed. Charming towns and nature destinations may be preferred over buzzing metropolises or lively beach resorts. Whatever you choose, we provide extensive reviews, suggestions and travel tips via this link: New normal holiday.
When you make your decision, you may have questions. Most of us are familiar with the tools and regulations introduced to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, including social distancing, hand sanitizers and masks. But what about dining, hotel rooms, spas?
In Turkey, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has launched the Safe Tourism Certification Program, to ensure the safety of both international and domestic tourists. The Program’s aim is to put forward those companies, providing food & beverage, accommodation and tour/transfer services in Turkey, that are in compliance with its hygiene standards and protocols.
Pandemic-related hygiene criteria in accommodation properties
The Safe Tourism Certification Program of Turkey identifies a series of measures for companies providing services for domestic and foreign tourists in Turkey. The certification program was prepared under the leadership of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with contributions by the Ministries of Health, Transport, the Interior and Foreign Affairs, and in cooperation with sector stakeholders.
These measures cover a comprehensive range of issues and processes, including check-in, check-out, transportation, waste management, and usage areas such as rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, spas and pools.
Accredited audit firms will grant Safe Tourism Certification to accommodation venues in Turkey through assessments in accordance with international standards based on individual criteria. Regular hygiene and health checks are also conducted. Qualifying accommodation will be published on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism website.
This program provides domestic and international tourists in Turkey with a convenient list of certified accommodation establishments.
1. Mandatory practices
- Are there authorized persons in the hotel to perform the adoption and verification of infection measures and hygiene standards?
- Do hygiene protocols cover the processes for all departments and units within the hotel?
- Are periodic monitoring forms and checklists used to support all procedures and protocols?
- Is a dedicated recording system used efficiently at the property?
- Are the records subject to verification at certain periods?
- Is it ensured that actions are taken based on the verifications?
- Has a social distance plan been prepared?
- Have social distancing markers been placed at the entrance of all units at the property?
- Are people staying in the same room (family, etc.) considered a group under the conditions of social distancing rules?
- Are there alcohol-based hand antiseptics or disinfectants approved by the Ministry of Health at the property?
- Are there alcohol-based hand antiseptics or disinfectants in common areas?
- Are periodic basic trainings on procedures and protocols planned for the staff?
- Do personnel working at the property receive trainings in accordance with planned hygiene procedures?
- Have teleconferencing/e-learning tools been implemented for department meetings and training programs ?
- Are trainings on the use of hygienic materials and protective equipment taking place?
- Are COVID-19 and hygiene practices placards/posters displayed in staff and general areas?
- Are these placards/posters in at least three languages?
- Have re-opening protocols been prepared for closed hotels?
- Are masks available upon request at facility entrances? Is protective equipment kept on the premises?
- When entering the facility, are guests provided with written information about COVID-19, related rules, and descriptions of hygiene measures and practices?
- Do managers responsible for the units regularly record the cleaning practices?
- Is it ensured that the facility’s installations and equipment (energy, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning equipment, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, elevators etc.) are serviced with preventive maintenance and repair by the authorized service or qualified experts periodically?
- Are ventilation filters changed regularly?
- Is natural ventilation utilized wherever and whenever possible?
- Are employees’ temperatures measured and recorded via contactless thermometers when they enter/exit the facility?
- Are staff provided with contactless sensor thermometers for incoming visitors?
- If employees’ temperatures exceed the predetermined ranges, have following actions been defined?
- If there are factors other than temperature range, are these, and following actions, recorded?
- – Are there periodic evaluation meetings on food safety and hygiene processes for all department managers in Procurement, Goods Acceptance, Warehouse, Cuisine and Food Production?
- Do employees have hygiene training records approved by relevant NGOs (TÜROB, TUROFED, TURYID etc.)?
- If applicable, have shops and stores on the property adopted the necessary hygiene rules?
- Are guests informed about check-in procedures, social distancing guidelines and luggage practices (i.e. guests may have to carry their own luggage, depending on the hotel’s policy regarding porter service)?
- Have department staff been informed regarding enhanced check-in procedures?
- Are alcohol-based hand antiseptics/sanitizers, protective equipment etc. available in the reception area for guest use?
- Are contactless payment methods (i.e. contactless POS devices, online payments etc.) available for use, rather than cash payments?
- Are non-disposable items (such as room cards/keys, towel cards, pens, reception bells, etc.) disinfected after use and properly stored?
3. Staff measures and practices
- Is there a regular and sufficient supply of personal protective equipment for staff?
- Are staff notified regarding the use of personal protective equipment?
- Are process-related training, motivational, and psychological support records of staff recorded in their personal files?
- Are there social distancing measures in place in staff resting and social areas?
- Is Ministry of Health-approved hand antiseptic available in staff resting and social areas?
- Are health checks conducted during recruitment processes?
4. Regulations in general areas
a. Guest rooms
- Are the electric kettles, and television and air conditioning controls in rooms disinfected every time the guest checks out?
- Are arrangements in place for the use of disposable items (shampoo, soap, shower cap, glasses, plates, cutlery etc.) in the rooms?
- Do kitchens have a cleaning protocol prepared by the hotel management?
- Are the cleaning processes monitored and recorded?
- Are such records verified?
- Are actions taken when necessary regarding the cleaning verifications?
- Are processes for food safety defined for food input acceptance, preparation, processing and service-presentation?
- Are the monitoring activities described under food safety recorded?
- Are the monitoring activities described under food safety verified by competent personnel?
- Are actions taken when necessary regarding food safety verifications?
- Is all food stored in the kitchens with clean, food-grade equipment, and covered as necessary?
- Are the kitchen storage areas arranged considering the product groups and risks?
- When necessary, are temperatures and humidity in the kitchen storage areas measured and recorded?
- Are the recorded temperature and humidity measurements verified by competent personnel?
- Is the measuring equipment subject to periodic calibration or verification processes?
- Are harmful items such as thumbtacks, pins, staples, broken glass, etc. removed or prevented in the kitchen?
- Are sufficient amounts of replicate samples taken every day?
- Is the label information of replicate samples available?
- Are there solid, closed trash bins etc. in the required areas in kitchens?
- Is there a protection against frangible materials in kitchens?
- Is all waste generated in kitchens properly disposed of?
- Are kitchen staff prohibited from wearing jewelry, accessories, etc.?
- Are staff entrances into the kitchen monitored? (Use of Work Uniform and Hygiene Equipment)
- Are entrances by unauthorized persons into the kitchen under control?
- Are soiled and clean equipment separated in the washing areas?
- Are areas such as shelves, counters, etc. cleaned and appropriate?
- Are there defined areas for raw materials/products to be returned/disposed in the kitchens?
- Are there practices to prevent residues of food/detergent etc. on washed equipment?
- Are cleaning chemicals and equipment stored separately?
- Does the water used in food production meet the conditions specified in the “Regulation Concerning Water Intended for Human Consumption”?
c. Food & Beverage units
- Is there a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between tables and 60 cm between chairs?
- Is service equipment regularly cleaned before and after service in the dining areas?
- Have common-use tea / coffee machines, dispensers, beverage machines and similar devices been removed? Have alternative arrangements been made for guests, i.e. do staff provide beverages?
- Are tables, chairs and non-disposable tabletop items cleaned with alcohol-based products after each diner’s use?
- Are there hand sanitizers or wipes / liquids containing seventy percent alcohol on the table?
- At open buffets, is there a glass panel to prevent contact between diners and buffet dishes? If the open buffet is wall-mounted, is there a service bench arrangement that prevents direct access to the buffet by guests, leaving an area to allow the staff to serve? Is it ensured that requested food items are provided to guests by a staff member, within the precautions?
- Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers / disinfectant available in areas accessible to guests and staff?
d. Swimming pools and beaches
- Is the level of chlorine in the pool water between 1-3 ppm in outdoor pools and between 1 and 1.5 ppm in indoor pools? Is it recorded periodically?
- Are measured chlorine levels periodically recorded and verified?
- Are actions determined for unacceptable chlorine levels, based on verification of chlorine level records?
- Are the cleaning and disinfection activities planned and recorded for toilets, showers and changing cabins around the pool and beach?
- When necessary, are additional actions taken based on the verification of the cleaning records for the pool and beach areas?
e. Gym & spa
- Are arrangements determined for cleaning areas such as saunas, Turkish baths, steam baths, etc., by limiting the usage time to a maximum 30 minutes and then cleaning the area for at least 15 minutes?
- Are arrangements for the number of people permitted during the entrance and exit times of the hall?
- Are guests using the relevant fields registered?
- Are there antiseptics or disinfectants in the related areas?
- Is the appropriate air quality ensured within the SPA? Is humidity controlled?
- Is it ensured that items distributed in these areas (i.e. bath gloves, soaps, shower gels, shampoos, etc.) are disposable to the extent possible?
f. Animation halls
- Are there capacity guidelines for animation programs?
- Are there alcohol-based hand sanitizers / disinfectant available at the entrance and/or activity areas?
g. Mini club
- Does the mini club have a social distancing plan and capacity guidelines?
- Are children accepted at a capacity suitable for social distance requirements via the reservation system?
- Are there social distancing arrangements in indoor and outdoor activities?
- Are children’s temperatures measured and recorded at the entrance?
- For children whose temperature exceeds 38 degrees, are their families notified and are the children removed from the club and directed to a health institution?
- Are staff thoroughly trained in their subjects?
- Are placards/posters displayed that explain general health and hygiene rules, including COVID-19 measures, in accordance with the age group of the children?
- Are there antiseptics at the entrance and exit to which children do not have access ?
- Are staff members helping children use antiseptics at the entrance and exit?
- Are all indoor areas of the mini club ventilated/aired for at least 10 minutes per hour?
- Are all non-disposable toys, hobby items, etc. composed of easy-to-clean, wipeable or washable materials?
- Are the toys, hobby materials and children’s contact surfaces cleaned with detergent and water after group use, and then disinfected with the appropriate materials?
- Are there educational / informative activities on health and hygiene?
- Does the activity program consist of more outdoor activities and thus a lower risk of transmission?
- Are children supervised in washing their hands with soap, including after toilet use?
- Has the security department coordinated its processes with the hotel’s other departments?
- Are processes in place and equipment available to minimize contact with guests (mask, mask, disposable gloves for each call, face wash)? If not, is soap/water available to clean hands?
- Have existing evacuation, emergency plans and risk management processes been integrated with pandemic-related processes?
6. Hotel vehicles
- Are masks provided for all passengers in the vehicle?
- Are there enough masks, hand sanitizer, cologne for each passenger?
- Are frequently contacted surfaces of vehicles, such as seats, door handles, hand grips, etc. cleaned before each service?
- If valet service is provided, have necessary measures been implemented for employee and guest safety?
7. Staff accommodation units and lodgings
- Are measures in place to prevent visitors, relatives, and friends from being admitted to the Staff Accommodation Units and Lodging?
- Are hygiene measures and social distancing processes implemented in in staff accommodation units and lodgings, and staff transfers?
8. Waste management
- Has a member of staff been appointed by the hotel management to follow the entire process on waste management?
- Is “Waste Management” implemented and recorded according to the protocol prepared by the hotel management?
- Are the records received within the scope of Waste Management verified by competent staff?
- Do staff use personal protective equipment (disposable gloves, gowns, surgical masks) during work?
- Are trash cans and other cleaning equipment used periodically cleaned?
- Are medical and household wastes properly collected and separated and disposed of regularly by the Municipality or Licensed institutions?
- Is the necessary cleaning and spraying done periodically in the garbage rooms?
- Have special garbage bags been provided to the security officers for alcohol-based hand sanitizer / disinfectant, disposable wipes and wastes for use after their operations (identification and giving, etc.)?
9. Pest control
- Is Pest Control implemented and recorded according to protocols determined by hotel management?
- Are Pest Control practices verified by qualified staff, and actions are taken when necessary?
- Is staff responsible for identifying and combating pests?
- Do staff use personal protective equipment (disposable gloves, surgical masks, headgear, goggles/visors, boots, overalls) during implementation?
- Is there a Business Pest Control Plan, Service Responsible Certificates, MSDSs, Official Documents (Responsible Manager, Service Adequacy, etc.), Service Contract and insurance belonging to the service provider in the File against Pests and Insects?
- Are wastewater channels (drains) easily cleanable? Have they been managed to prevent pest or rodent entry, odor, and backflow of waste liquids?
10. Purchasing, goods receiving and storage
- Are processes in Procurement, Goods Receiving and Storage activities implemented according to protocols prepared by hotel management? Are these monitored and recorded by the relevant manager?
- Are records received during Purchasing, Goods Receiving and Storage activities verified?
- Are actions taken when required regarding Purchasing, Goods Receiving and Storage activities?
- Do employees working in this department use personal protective equipment?
- Have measures been taken to ensure that the suppliers, maintenance staff, drivers, etc. who deliver goods – particularly to the units that supply and manufacture food products – do not have contact with employees, and perform operations in accordance with social distancing guidelines and PPE practices?
- Have precautions been taken to ensure minimum contact between goods and humans in the delivery/supply chain?
- Does the purchasing unit primarily prefer licensed suppliers of suitable and packaged products?
11. Emergency and isolation
- Are processes in place for contacting the appropriate individuals and institutions should a patient, symptom or a suspect case (per the requirements of the Epidemic Disease Crisis Management) be detected?
- Is the emergency contact information for appropriate individuals and institutions easily accessible?
- If guests exhibit signs of illness (coughing, weakness, high fever, etc.) when entering the facility or during their stay, are they provided with information regarding the response plan?
- In case of emergency situations, does the hotel have designated isolation areas?
- Are there cleaning protocols for the isolation areas?
- Are cleaning protocols for the isolation areas recorded and verified?
- Is action taken when required per cleaning verifications for the isolation areas?
- If an employee is suspected to have Covid-19 or shows signs of the virus, is it reported to the manager of the workplace?
- Are the Ministry of Health ALO 184 Coronavirus Hotline and Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry notified regarding employees who have symptoms associated with Covid-19 (fever, cough and / or shortness of breath) or a positive Covid-19 test?
- If a guest tests positive for the virus, are all the textile items (bed linens, etc.) from their room placed in separate bags and delivered to an offsite laundry service, to ensure that these products are washed separately?
We recommend that you select your holiday accommodation in accordance with Safe Tourism Certificate Program criteria. For further details, you can review the website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The list of criteria can also serve as a reference for holiday accommodation outside Turkey, but we do suggest that you check the websites of the relevant official institutions of that country.
For additional information on safe holidays, please see Pandemic-related measures for tour and transfer vehicle services in Turkey and Pandemic-related hygiene processes for restaurants, cafes and bars in Turkey.