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Belize Announces Hospitality Sector Health and Safety Protocols

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 6/23/2020 Laurie Baratti
a beach with a palm tree sitting next to a body of water: Placencia, Belize, beach © iStock / Getty Images Plus / Simon Dannhauer Placencia, Belize, beach

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) today officially released a new set of required operating protocols designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the hospitality sector as the country prepares to welcome back international travelers.

Hotels and restaurants will be required to adhere to the new guidelines, which are meant to serve as the foundation for addressing the new health and safety challenges presented by the pandemic. The complete set of protocols is outlined in a detailed document on the BTB’s website.

In conjunction with these new protocols, the BTB is launching the new ‘Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program’, a nine-point program that concentrates on elevating and modifying hospitality properties’ cleaning and sanitization practices, parameters for social interaction, workplace policies, and standard operating procedures to align with new travel and tourism norms—all while maintaining minimal interference in the guest experience.

The program aims to promote confidence in the cleanliness, health and safety of Belize’s tourism products among both travelers and hospitality workers, and ensure that hotels and restaurants are thoroughly prepared to welcome back guests.

The ‘Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program’ Checklist:

—Select a Gold Standard Program Manager to act as a liaison between the Ministry of Health, employees and guests, and to oversee the implementation of new protocols on site.

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—Ensure that all individuals on property adhere to face-mask requirements and social-distancing guidelines while occupying public areas.

—Employ technologies to enable online check-in/out, contactless payment, and automated booking and ordering systems in order to reduce person-to-person interactions.

—Install hand-hygiene and -sanitization stations throughout the property

—Apply heightened cleaning and increased sanitization practices in all guest rooms, public spaces and particularly in high-touch areas.

—Carry out routine Reporting and Monitoring processes based on daily non-invasive temperature and health checks being performed on both guests and employees, utilizing the Tourism & Health Information System (THIS).

—Provide frequent, clear, and consistent communication regarding the particulars and execution of new protocols, as well as foster an understanding of their impact and importance among both employees and guests.

—Develop and establish a clear, rapid response plan in order to manage any suspected COVID-19 cases, which could arise among guests or staff.

—Implement comprehensive training programs to ensure that workers are well-versed in new policies, and prepared to appropriately apply new protocols and practices in the context of upon their individual roles.

While Belize’s prime minister has pointed to July 1 as a tentative target date for reopening, nothing is yet set in stone. Updates regarding Belize’s national emergency status will be posted here.


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