COVID-19 CONTINGENCY PLAN TO REDUCE THE TRANSMISSION RISK DURING TOURISM ACTIVITIES
Last Update: June 15, 2020.
This Covid-19 Contingency Plan is based on the measures to reduce the transmission risk of the Covid-19. It follows the guidelines developed by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE) and the Secretary of State for Tourism in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Specifically, this document follows the guidelines and recommendations of the manuals for Travel Agencies and Active Tourism and Ecotourism subsectors.
Birding The Strait is firmly committed with the management of the risk and the implementation of measures to minimize it in all the processes of its activity. To achieve this, the company has prepared this Contingency Plan, which details the specific measures adopted to reduce the risks of transmission by Covid-19.
All personal and health data generated as a result of the application of this plan, will be treated in accordance with the data protection policy of Birding The Strait.
A. Company Information
Birding The Strait SL is a Travel Agency (CIAN-117214-3) and Active Tourism company (AT/CA /00311), specialized in ecotourism and birdwatching, registered in the Andalusian Tourism Registry and based in Tarifa, Cadiz (Spain).
Its activity consists of the design, marketing, development and guidance of day trips and all-inclusive package tours of variable duration (hereinafter tours). The tours take place both domestically and internationally. The company considers subcontracting the services of other specialized guides and tourist services (hotels, restaurants, tourist transport), etc.
Birding The Strait does not have physical offices, neither other facilities or dependencies.
At the time of developing this plan, the company is made up of two workers (owners) who are in charge of the management and provision of the company’s services, namely:
- Yeray Seminario Valenciaga (ID 44314121K).
- Javier Elorriaga Navarro (ID 30670174L)
B. Committee for Risk Management
Birding The Strait has a Risk Management Committee whose functions are in accordance with the Risk Prevention Law in Spain. This committee is formed by the abovementioned owners of the company.
This committee assumes the definition of strategies and decision making for the minimization of transmission risks by COVID-19. The committee is responsible for staying informed regarding possible updates to current regulations. Likewise, the committee will periodically evaluate the application and effectiveness of this plan and will carry out the necessary adaptations to optimize its effectiveness.
Javier Elorriaga has received specific training for the preparation of this plan by attending the webinar: “SECURITY PROTOCOLS AGAINST COVID-19 IN THE TOURISM SECTOR“, held on June 2, 2020, by the Algeciras Technology Campus Foundation.
C. Measures to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19
In order to develop this plan, all the tasks and work processes of Birding The Strait have been identified, both as Travel Agency and Active Tourism company. This way, the plan includes all management activities and the development of day trips and tours.
Subsequently, the specific risks of each of them have been evaluated and the corresponding measures to be adopted have been defined.
- Customer service and management tasks
- Birding The Strait does not have physical offices (see section A). Therefore, the guidelines and recommendations for the reduction of contagion by Covid-19 for Travel Agencies established in the previously mentioned ICTE manual do not apply.
- All organization, promotion and customer service tasks are carried out telematically and by telephone, thus eliminating physical contact from this process.
- Customers will receive this contingency plan prior to the formalization of bookings.
- Birding The Strait website is the main platform of communication with customers.
- Reception of customers
- In each service provided, Birding The Strait will assign a guide responsible for ensuring the correct compliance with this contingency plan.
- Before the start of the activity, the guide will review with the customers the main points of this plan and will ensure that the customers have fulfilled the Customer’s Declaration of Conformity (Section D).
- Prior to the start of the activity, the guide will indicate to the customers the location of the first aids kit, which will include a thermometer.
- Greeting with physical contact will be actively avoided.
- Transportation of customers in vehicles that belong to the company
- As such, Birding The Strait only provides Complementary Private Transport services using vehicles of up to 9 seats, for which it will adopt measures dictated by the Spanish Order: Orden TMA / 384/2020, de 3 de Mayo.
- When Birding The Strait subcontracts transport services, it will ensure that the company has a valid contingency plan.
- Birding The Strait vehicles will show clear and intelligible signage in which complete information on hygiene, self-protection and distancing guidelines will be displayed.
- While in the vehicles the use of medical masks will be mandatory.
- The vehicles will have hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers at the disposal of the customers.
- A maximum of two seats per row of seats will be occupied, accordingly:
- In 5-seater vehicles a maximum of 4 people will travel.
- In 9-seater vehicles a maximum of 6 people will travel
- The travellers will always occupy the same seat.
- The vehicles will be ventilated frequently.
- When compatible with the development of the activity, customers will be offered the possibility of using their own transportation to follow the vehicle used by the guide.
- Development of the activity: day trips and tours
- The bulk of the services will take place outdoors, in open spaces where distancing between participants will be feasible most of the time.
- If an activity is carried out within a protected natural area, Birding The Strait will be informed about and follow the existing security protocols.
- Birding The Strait will be coordinated with other companies operating in the same environment in order to avoid crowds.
- The maximum number of participants will be set to 15 people including guides. However, Birding The Strait will offer services with a maximum number of 8 customers and a guide until further notice.
- The vehicle will have an adapted container where, at the end of the activity, customers and workers will deposit disposable self-protection materials.
- In the event that a customer fails to comply with the guidelines of this plan, Birding The Strait reserves the right to interrupt the customer’s participation, as well as to take the legal measures it deems appropriate.
- See also sections 5, 6 and 7.
- Protection of customers in the course of day trips and tours.
- A minimum safety distance of two meters will be held. When this is not possible, the use of medical masks will be necessary.
- Customers will be encouraged to bring their own medical masks and hand-sanitizer. However, Birding The Strait will have a stock to supply all its customers for the full duration of the contracted services.
- Customers will always have hand-sanitizer at their disposal. The guide in charge will inform the customers about where to find these products.
- Customers will be urged to clean their hands using the specific products on a frequent basis.
- Customers will always have at their disposal a thermometer to measure body temperature as part of the first aid kit, which will be located in a visible area of the vehicle.
- When the activity takes place in a location away from the vehicle, the guide will carry with him the first aids kit containing a thermometer.
- The guides will wear properly sanitized clothing before the start of the activity.
- Sharing books, clothing, sun creams, repellents, water bottles, phones, etc. will be avoided, except when it occurs between people living together.
- Use of optical gear
- Customers will be encouraged to use of their own optics: binoculars, telescopes, photographic equipment, etc.
- The shared use of optical gear will be avoided, except in the case that they belong to the same group of people living together.
- If required, Birding The Strait may loan optical material to its customers. This will have been previously disinfected by the company (see section 9).
- The optical gear provided by the company will be for personal and non-transferable use.
- The guide will inform the customer about the correct way to clean the optics.
- Protection of guides and other workers
- Birding The Strait will provide its workers with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) consisting of: certified medical masks, disposable gloves and disinfecting solutions.
- The workers will be trained on the correct use of the medical masks, gloves and other PPEs they may use.
- The guides and other Birding The Strait workers will follow the same guidelines established for the customers in sections 5 and 6.
- In the event that a Birding The Strait worker, in the domestic environment, experiences symptoms compatible with Covid-19, or is positively diagnosed, he/she will promptly report to the company’s Committee (see also section 10).
- Subcontracting and use of external services and infrastructures
- Birding The Strait may use external services of restaurants, hotels, private transportation, etc. In these cases, Birding The Strait will ensure that they have a contingency plan in force.
- In the event that the services of other guides are subcontracted, Birding The Strait will ensure that they have the appropriate PPE and act according to the Contingency Plan.
- Cleaning and disinfection of work clothes, vehicles and optical gear
- Work clothes will be washed at temperatures> 60ºC.
- The guide will be responsible for cleaning the vehicles and the optical gear of the company, using disposable gloves and medical masks.
- The vehicles and optic gear will be cleaned at the end of each day and/or before the start of a new service.
- Cleaning products included in the list of authorized virucidal products in Spain will be used.
- The optical gear provided by Birding The Strait will be systematically cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day. In addition, it will be disinfected prior to any change of user (see also section 6).
- Action in case of detection of symptoms compatible with Covid-19 during a day trip or a tour, and cancellation policy
- The symptoms of Covid-19, which the guide should be alert to, include cough, fever, respiratory distress, muscle pain and headache, among others.
- In the event that symptoms compatible with the disease are detected in a member of the group, this will be promptly communicated to the guide. This, in turn, will communicate it to the Committee (see section B). The guide will keep direct communication with the Committee and the relevant authorities.
- Relevant authorities will be contacted immediately via 112 (or equivalent number abroad) and their guidelines will be strictly followed.
- The guide will be in charge of facilitating the arrival, as soon as possible, of the symptomatic person to the nearest health centre.
- Previously, the guide should take the rest of the group (not symptomatic) to a place that ensures their isolation and report their location to the authorities. This place will preferably be the starting point of the excursion or the last accommodation used.
- In case a positive case is confirmed, Birding The Strait will inform as soon as possible the contact-person that the customer has designated when booking the service.
- Birding The Strait will then inform the other members of the group and people outside the group with whom the affected party has been in contact.
- From this moment, Birding The Strait will evaluate and decide on the steps to be followed, always based on sanitary criteria.
Cancellation policy regarding Covid-19:
- In the event that the cancellation of the trip is decided, it will be considered for reasons of force majeure. In this case, Birding The Strait will assume the responsibility of facilitating the return of the customers to the starting point of the trip and will assume the corresponding expenses. The company will waive the fees corresponding to the services not provided. In this case, Birding The Strait will be exempt from the expenses derived from the cancellation of the services contracted to third parties from which no refund is received.
- In the event that the continuation of the trip is considered viable, but disagreeing customers decide to suspend their participation, Birding The Strait will facilitate their return to the starting point of the trip. In this case, the costs derived from the transport will be borne by the customer and the organization will be exempt from reimbursement of the amount of the services not provided.
- In the event that the Birding The Strait guide is diagnosed with Covid-19 during the course of a trip, he will immediately report the situation to the Company Committee. Birding The Strait will try to assign a substitute guide to attend the group on site as soon as possible. When this is not possible, the trip will be cancelled due to force majeure, and the company will be responsible for the transfer of the customers to the starting point of the trip.
- This cancellation policy set in the event of a confirmed or potential Covid-19 case will be circumstantial and independent of the regular Cancellation Policy of Birding The Strait.
- Procedure in the event of an accident
- In the event that a customer suffers an accident and must receive first aid from the guide, the guide will take extreme measures of prevention. The protocol established by the Spanish Society of Medicine and Mountain Aid will be followed.
- The injured person will be attended with sanitary gloves and a FPP2 type medical mask and disposable sanitary material.
- The injured person will be provided with a medical mask or FPP1 type mask.
- Once the first aid is finished, the surfaces will be disinfected and the waste generated will be eliminated.
D. STATEMENT OF RESPONSABILITY
In order to provide its clients with the guarantee of compliance with the standards of the World Health Organization, Birding The Strait has established this Contingency Plan in all its activities and work processes as a Travel Agency and company of Active Tourism. For the record, it has submitted responsible statements to the Ministry of Tourism of the Junta de Andalucía.
In this way, Birding The Strait has officially obtained the corresponding nominal “Andalucía Segura” badges, thus being subject to compliance control through an external verification process.