Scenario: You were uncertain about taking a holiday this year but, after going through some of our “New normal holiday” blogs, covering topics such as airport and plane hygiene and safe tips for travel, you felt more at ease. You and your family have arrived in a small, quiet resort and, as the Turkish band Büyük Ev Ablukada sings, “The sun is in place, everything is fine.” Meanwhile, everyone is hungry. How do you select the safest restaurant?
While the number of Covid-19 cases in Turkey have declined, we still need to abide by certain guidelines. The Safe Tourism Certification Program of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism provides us with tools to protect our health and the health of our families.
Safe Tourism Certification Program
The Safe Tourism Certification Program of Turkey identifies a series of measures for domestic and foreign tourists in Turkey. These measures cover a range of issues, from passenger, guest and employee hygiene, to transportation and accommodation. 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.
Accredited audit firms will grant Safe Tourism Certification to accommodation and dining venues in Turkey through assessments in accordance with international standards based on individual criteria. Regular hygiene and health checks are also conducted. Qualifying accommodation and dining venues 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 and dining establishments.
Click for more information about the Safe Tourism Certification Program.
What are the criteria for Safe Tourism Certification?
The criteria for Safe Tourism Certification include a comprehensive list of inspection and precaution measures for venues that spans a range of elements from guest entrances and valet services to waste management and staff lodging hygiene.
1. Mandatory applications
The Safe Tourism Certification Program features a series of questions on process management, as well as standards and preparation protocols.
- Are there authorized staff within the enterprise to carry out the adaptation and control of contamination measures and hygiene standards?
- Have social distance protocols been implemented?
- Are the areas in the closed areas of the facility, such as children’s play areas, closed for service?
- Are the children’s play groups (swing, slide, etc.) in the open areas of the enterprises cleaned periodically?
- Have handheld game tools, such as backgammon, rummikub, etc. been restricted from use?
- Are social distance markers present at the entrances and inside all units in the facility?
- Does the enterprise offer alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by the Ministry of Health?
- Is there a Ministry of Health-approved hand sanitizer in the common areas?
- Are employee trainings carried out in accordance with new hygiene standards and protocols?
- 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 two languages?
- Have re-opening operational protocols been prepared for closed businesses?
- Are masks available upon request at facility entrances?
- When entering the facility, are guests provided with written information about COVID-19, related rules, and descriptions of hygiene measures and practices?
- Are cleaning practices recorded regularly?
- Is it ensured that the facility’s installations and equipment (energy, heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, elevators, etc.) are periodically serviced by the authorized service or specialists trained in the field?
- Are ventilation filters replaced 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, Kitchen and Food Production and Presentation?
- Do employees have hygiene training records approved by relevant NGOs (TÜROB, TUROFED, TURYID etc.)?
- If applicable, have shops and stores adopted the necessary hygiene rules?
2. Valet service
- Do valets clean their hands with Ministry of Health-approved sanitizer before and after each vehicle delivery?
- Do valets driving the vehicles wear their masks correctly?
- Have valets been trained in wearing gloves and other processes? Are they audited?
3. Entry of guests to premises
- Are protocols established to inform guests on social distancing guidelines?
- Do the necessary departments have information on all entry procedures?
- At the entrance area, is there Ministry of Health-approved hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment etc. available for guest use? Is it ensured that guests use these?
- Are guests’ temperatures measured when entering the establishment? Are guests with a temperature higher than 38 degrees refused entry and advised to seek medical care in a health facility?
- Are contactless POS devices, online payments etc. available for guests, rather than cash payments?
- When customers touch a payment device, is the device then wiped with disinfectant?
4. Measures and practices for staff
- Is there a regular and sufficient supply of personal protective equipment for staff?
- Are staff notified regarding the use of personal protective equipment?
- Are staff required to use protective equipment? Are they monitored for compliance and correct usage, and warned otherwise?
- Are process-related training, motivation, 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 staff checked daily for fever and COVID-19 symptoms when entering the workplace?
5. Regulations in general areas
- Do kitchens have a cleaning protocol prepared by the facility’s management?
- Are kitchen cleaning protocols monitored and recorded?
- Are records checked and actions taken when necessary?
- Is all food stored in kitchens covered with clean equipment?
- Do kitchen storage layouts take into account product groups and risks?
- If applicable, are temperatures in storage areas and humidity in the dry storage areas measured and recorded?
- Are the recorded temperature and humidity measurements checked by responsible person?
- Are periodic equipment calibrations or verifications for measuring tools (thermometers or other) conducted?
- Are harmful items such as thumbtacks, pins, staples, broken glass, etc. removed or prevented in the kitchen?
- Are sufficient witness samples taken in kitchens and stored for 72 hours with the necessary tag information?
- Are the rubbish bins in the required areas stored intact and closed?
- Is there an enclosure in the kitchens for materials that can be broken?
- Is all kitchen waste subject to proper disposal procedures?
- Are kitchen staff prohibited from wearing jewelry, other accessories?
- Are kitchen staff staff wearing the proper work attire and using gloves, masks and headgear within the scope of protective measures?
- Are the entrances to the kitchens under control by non-kitchen staff?
- Are there soiled and clean equipment separations in the dishwashing areas in the kitchens?
- Are areas such as equipment shelves clean and suitable?
- Are the raw materials / products to be returned / destroyed in the kitchens denoted in any way (label, separate area etc.)?
- Are there applications to prevent the formation of residues such as food / detergent in cleaning equipment?
- Are cleaning chemicals and equipment stored separately?
- Does the water used in food production meet the conditions specified in the “Regulation on Water for Human Consumption”?
- Are the steam and ice used in food production derived from “potable water”?
- Are foods prepared with untreated (raw) foodstuffs (cooked) separated to prevent cross-contamination?
- Are measures taken to ensure that all packaged and non-packaged foodstuffs do not come in direct contact with the ground?
- Are cleaning, maintenance and filter changes of air conditioners performed regularly?
- Are the air conditioners operating on fresh air mode?
- If possible, is the environment frequently ventilated by opening doors and windows?
b. 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 items such as dining tables and chairs, service materials, sugar, salt and spice containers, napkins and menus wiped after each guest use, and cleaned and disinfected with Ministry of Health-approved disinfectant? Are disposable napkins, and sugar, salt, spice containers used when possible?
- Is there hand sanitizer approved by the Ministry of Health or wipes / liquids containing seventy percent alcohol?
- If there is an open buffet operation, has a glass visor been installed to prevent direct contact between diners and food? Are staff providing the food requested by guests within the precautions?
- Are social distance rules in effect in open buffet and service meals?
- Do guests and staff have access to Ministry of Health-approved hand sanitizer in the dining/kitchen areas?
- Are cleaning, maintenance, and filter changes of air conditioners performed regularly?
- Are the air conditioners operating on fresh air mode?
- If possible, is the environment frequently ventilated by opening doors and windows?
c. Washbasins and toilets
- Do the toilet areas have automatic doors? If not, are door handles disinfected regularly?
- Are the bathroom floors, toilets, urinals, sinks, faucets, and faucets and door handles frequently cleaned and disinfected?
- Are cleaning hours recorded? Are they audited?
- Are hand drying machines turned off for use? Are disposable paper towels available?
- Are materials such as soap, toilet paper and paper towels kept fully stocked?
- Do cleaning staff use masks and goggles or visors?
- 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?
- Has pandemic risk analysis been performed or have the existing plans been updated?
7. Establishment vehicles
- Are masks provided for all passengers in the vehicle?
- Are there enough masks, hand sanitizer, cologne for each passenger? Are these items approved by the Ministry of Health?
- Are frequently contacted surfaces of vehicles, such as seats, door handles, hand grips, etc. cleaned before each service?
- For vehicles belonging to the establishment, are the air conditioners cleaned regularly? Are the air conditioners programmed to receive fresh air from outside?
- Are the vehicles ventilated?
- Has information been provided to service companies regarding employee transportation, and ensuring that each employee has a designated seat for all trips?
- If valet service is provided, have necessary measures been taken for employee and guest safety?
8. 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?
9. Waste management
- Is food waste removed promptly, and in a hygienically and environmentally friendly manner?
- Is food waste collected in closed containers such as rubbish bins, or stored in an alternative system? Is it cleaned and disinfected when necessary?
- Are records received under Waste Management checked by the responsible person?
- Do staff use personal protective equipment (disposable gloves and gowns, surgical masks) in the workplace?
- Are rubbish bins and other cleaning equipment periodically cleaned?
- Is waste properly collected and separated, and regularly disposed of by the Municipality or other licensed institutions?
- Are the required cleaning/disinfectant processes performed in the garbage rooms?
- Are security guards equipped with Ministry of Health-approved hand sanitizer, disposable wipes and special garbage bags for use after operations (identity control, etc.)?
10. Pest control
- Are appropriate pest and rodent control procedures implemented and monitored?
- Within the scope of the pest control program, are procedures (i.e. spraying) performed periodically by the establishment or an authorized company?
- If performed by the establishment, are such activities conducted and recorded by employees trained for these procedures?
- Have exterior openings and wastewater channels (drains) been managed to prevent pest or rodent entry, odor, and backflow of waste liquids?
11. Purchasing, goods receiving and storage
- Are control and tracking records (product name, quantity, temperature, invoice number, etc.) required during Purchasing, Receiving and Storing activities retained?
- Are employees provided with personal protective equipment (mask, gloves, goggles or visor)?
- Have measures been implemented to ensure minimum contact between employees and delivery or maintenance personnel, drivers, etc. Are social distancing guidelines in effect and are employees provided with protective equipment?
- Have precautions been taken to ensure minimum contact between goods and humans in the delivery/supply chain?
- Are purchasing unit decisions primarily directed towards products and packaged products from approved suppliers?
12. 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 the virus (cough, weakness, high fever, etc.) when entering the facility or during their stay, are they provided with information on procedures to follow?
- Are employees instructed to report to the relevant manager suspected COVID-19 cases or signs of illness?
- The Ministry of Health ALO 184 Coronavirus Hotline and legally affiliated official institutions (e.g. Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry) are for employees who have symptoms related to COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or positive COVID-19 tests. Is Airport Health Supervision Centre, etc. information provided for airports?
These assessments are currently ongoing, so you can continue to check for which venues are on the Safe Tourism Certification Program list. Have a safe holiday!