TOURISM businesses in the country have new standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to embrace the new normal for sanitised travel post Covid-19, says the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).
Among some of these measures are disinfection of tour vehicles, strict personal hygiene among tour guides, sanitisation of luggage and reducing full capacity in tour buses by 50% to maintain social distancing.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang says the idea of sanitised travel needs be adopted by stakeholders to bring around consumers' confidence in travelling once again.
"At this moment in time, protection of the public health, including tourism workers and tourists, remains the key priority. Each one would want to remain in a place where their well-being is guaranteed with no risk of being jeopardised," he says.
Apart from that, these SOPs will be important in ensuring that travel operators can do their jobs with "minimal risk of being exposed to Covid-19".
"The SOPs will cover essential components including sanitisation procedures for vehicles, passengers, drivers of a travel transport, luggage as well as tourist guides," he says.
Tan explains that tourism vehicles will be required to follow disinfection processed before embarking and after disembarking passengers.
For seating arrangements inside the vehicles, only one passenger will be allowed within a two-seater row in a bus and an eight-seater van will only carry four passengers at one time.
Apart from that, passengers will also be required to practise social distancing of lm when queuing up for embarking and disembarking.
According to Tan, tourist guides will also have an important role to play to ensure travellers' safety.
"Temperature screening for passengers must be recorded by the tour guides. All tour guides and bus drivers are also responsible for monitoring passengers and seeing that they consistently follow the SOP throughout a journey," he explains.
All suggested requirements for tourism operators will be in accordance with the guidelines set by the Health Ministry to ensure that the health and safety of relevant individuals are safeguarded.