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    Home Trip ideas New normal holiday Pandemic-related measures for tour and transfer vehicle services in Turkey

    Pandemic-related measures for tour and transfer vehicle services in Turkey

    The ongoing worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has brought attention to hygiene practices at both individual and corporate levels. As we strive to stay safe and healthy – and also protect our loved ones, we are paying more attention to our surroundings, particularly if we are traveling. With this in mind, we offer guidelines for using buses and transfer vehicles, whether you are traveling for leisure or business.

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    Turkish Airlines Blog
    Yazar ekibimiz tarafından yönetilen bu hesapla, seyahat tutkunları ve keşif meraklılarının keyif alacağı blog içerikleri üretiyoruz. Özenle hazırladığımız içeriklerimiz aracılığıyla ilham vermeyi, bilgilendirmeyi, heyecanlandırmayı, eğlendirmeyi ve küçük ipuçları ile yolculuğunuzu kolaylaştırmayı amaçlıyoruz. Aynı zamanda yola çıkmanın yenileyici ve özgürleştiriciliğini sizlere tekrar hatırlatmak istiyoruz. Çünkü Tolstoy'un dediği gibi: “Tüm muhteşem hikayeler iki şekilde başlar; Ya bir insan bir yolculuğa çıkar ya da şehre bir yabancı gelir...”

    One of humanity’s strongest assets is our ability to adapt and find solutions. Each natural or human-caused disaster offers us an opportunity to learn and, hopefully, implement measures that will mitigate the next occurrence. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of hygiene in our lives.

    At the Turkish Airlines Blog, we aim to provide our readers with simple guidelines and tips on traveling and hygiene during the ongoing pandemic. As many travelers will be utilizing tour vehicles such as buses, taxis, or shuttles, we offer some recommendations here. We also offer information on Pandemic-related hygiene processes for restaurants, cafes and bars in Turkey and Pandemic-related health processes for hotels and other accommodation venues in Turkey As well, the pandemic-specific guidance in the New normal holiday blogs may be helpful.

    For hygiene measures on tour and transfer vehicles, we have used criteria from the Safe Tourism Certification Program, which includes pandemic-related hygiene standards recommended by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Safe Tourism Certification Program comprises recommendations determined by experts in line with global standards, along with contributions from the Ministries of Health, Transportation, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs, and sector shareholders.

    What is the 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 Turkey’s accommodation and dining venues, as well as tour/transfer service companies, through assessments in accordance with international standards based on individual criteria. Regular hygiene and health checks are also conducted. Qualifying venues and companies will be published on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism website.

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    What are the criteria for Safe Tourism Certification?

    Within the scope of the Certification Program, auditors inspect tour and transfer vehicles for compliance within a wide range issues, including in-vehicle applications, operational structures, waste management and ancillary services.

    1. Mandatory applications

    • Has a fully authorized manager been designated to manage Covid-19 processes for the company’s tour and transfer vehicles, including infection prevention measures and hygiene standards practices, inspection and resolution?
    • Is there a plan for Covid-19 and hygiene practices regarding in-vehicle use, luggage handling, and minimizing contact between the luggage of different passengers?  
    • Are protocols in place for implementing planned measures? 
    • Are daily inspection and control lists for cleaning and hygiene prepared? 
    • Have cleaning and hygiene rules been determined regarding organic and non-organic contaminants and the types of cleaning/disinfectant products? 
    • Is there a social distance plan for queues outside the vehicle, entry and exit to the vehicle and in-vehicle seating arrangements?
    • Have stopping and ventilation times been determined to ensure frequent ventilation of the vehicle? 
    • Are procedures in place for recording and storing the records for all guests who use the vehicle?
    • Are periodic trainings provided to drivers and other staff regarding processes and practices?  
    • Are Covid-19 related informational placards/posters prepared and displayed inside the vehicle?
    • Are all processes and practices regularly recorded?
    • Have managers, drivers and other personnel received hygiene and health training?
    • Have emergency practices, i.e. protocols, individual and institutional contacts, been determined? 

    2. In-vehicle practices 

    • Has a fully authorized manager been designated to manage pandemic-related processes, infection prevention measures and hygiene standards practices, as well as inspection and resolutions, in tour and transfer vehicles?
    • Is there a plan for Covid-19 and hygiene practices regarding in-vehicle use, luggage handling, and minimizing contact between the luggage of different passengers?  
    • Are protocols in place for implementing planned measures?  
    • Are daily inspection and control lists for cleaning and hygiene prepared?
    • Have cleaning and hygiene rules been determined regarding organic and non-organic contaminants and the types of cleaning/disinfectant products? 
    • Is there a social distance plan for queues outside the vehicle, entry and exit to the vehicle and in-vehicle seating arrangements?
    • Have stopping and ventilation times been determined to ensure frequent ventilation of the vehicle? 
    • Are procedures in place for recording and storing the records for all guests who use the vehicle?
    • Are periodic trainings provided to drivers and other staff regarding processes and practices?  
    • Are Covid-19 related informational placards/posters prepared and displayed inside the vehicle?
    • Are all processes and practices regularly recorded?
    • Have managers, drivers and other personnel received hygiene and health training?
    • Have emergency practices, i.e. protocols, individual and institutional contacts, been determined? 
    • Is it ensured that the vehicle’s ventilation and air-conditioning system is regularly maintained and repaired by the authorized service or trained, qualified personnel? Are the filters changed frequently?
    • Are surfaces in the vehicle effectively disinfected, wherever possible? Are such disinfections performed regularly and recorded? 
    • Is the entire vehicle (including luggage compartment) cleaned and disinfected with Ministry of Health-approved products before a new tour or transfer in an isolated area? Are these cleaning/disinfections regularly performed and recorded?
    • Are contacted surfaces (i.e. door handles, touch screens, control panels, seat edges, seat surfaces, seat belt buckles and steering wheels) cleaned and disinfected after use? Are these cleanings recorded? 
    • Have stopping and ventilation times been determined to ensure frequent ventilation of the vehicle? 
    • Do staff maintain social distance in the vehicle?
    • Is the vehicle maintained regularly?

    3. Staff measures and practices

    • Are staff’s temperatures measured each time they enter the workplace?
    • Are staff asked about the Covid-19 status of their household members? Are their responses recorded?  
    • Is it ensured that drivers and other personnel always wear masks in the vehicle?
    • Do drivers and other personnel use hand sanitizers before they enter the vehicle? 
    • Is it ensured that the same employees serve together as much as possible, to create a ‘pod’?  
    • Are personnel provided with information on the recommended use, expiry dates and usage methods for masks and hand antiseptics? 
    • Are personnel notified of wearing gloves? Do they clean and disinfect their hands frequently?
    • Is it ensured that personnel are diligent with regard to personal hygiene? (i.e., wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, regularly, before/after meals, after cleaning and toilet use; and clean/disinfect hands frequently)?
    • Are hand antiseptics available in staff areas?
    • Are staff who exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath etc. directed to health institutions and followed up?
    • Are staff uniforms cleaned daily?
    • Are staff provided with sufficient protective equipment?
    • Are all personnel trained on the use of protective equipment?
    • Are measures taken to ensure that service providers (of vehicle maintenance, repair and cleaning and other goods and supplies) maintain minimum to zero contact with staff, and perform all operations in accordance with  social distancing rules and protective equipment use? 

    4. Ancillary service practices 

    • Are purchasing, goods acceptance and storage processes performed according to protocols prepared by managers, and audited and recorded by the relevant executive? 
    • If food and beverage service is provided in the vehicle, are such items delivered in sealed packages?
    • Are disposable products (plates, glasses, spoons, forks, napkins, etc.) used for food and beverage service?
    • Does the purchasing unit primarily prefer licensed suppliers of suitable and packaged products?

    5. Waste management 

    • Has a staff member been assigned to monitor waste management processes?  
    • Are waste management processes implemented and recorded in line with protocols prepared by the company in charge? 
    • Are personnel utilizing personal protective equipment (disposable gloves and surgical mask) while working? 
    • Are personnel provided with special bin bags for hand antiseptics and related waste items?  
    • Are rubbish bins and cleaning equipment regularly cleaned/disinfected?

    Are medical and household wastes properly collected, separated and disposed of regularly?

    Whether you are taking a holiday in Turkey or abroad, you may find the above guidelines, developed by the Safe Tourism Certification Program, helpful when determining your transportation options.  The list of criteria can also serve as a reference for vehicle services outside Turkey, but we do suggest that you check the websites of the relevant official institutions of that country.

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