Uganda launches COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures for the Hospitality Industry
Uganda launches COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures for the Hospitality Industry
The Government of Uganda has put in place Standards of Operations Procedures (SOPs) to guide hotels as they resume operations following the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions announced by the President of Uganda on 22nd March 2020. These Standards of Operations Procedures are aimed at ensuring the safety of clients (travellers or tourists) and staff besides having them protected from viral coronavirus infection.
Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism Wildlife & Antiquities (MTWA), through the Post- Coronavirus COVID-19 recovery task force committee on Quality Assurance, on 5th June launched the Standard Operating Procedures to guide the hospitality Industry in preparation for the re-opening of normal businesses operations henceforth.
The Inauguration was held at Sheraton Hotel, Uganda, Kampala and was chaired by the State Minister for Tourism Uganda, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda. In attendance was, the Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Doreen S. Katusiime, the Chairperson Uganda Hotel Owners’ Association, Susan Muhwezi, the CEO, Uganda Tourism Board-UTB, Lilly Ajarova the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority, Director, Sam Mwandha, Education and Social services Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA, Juliet Namuddu Chairperson Uganda Tourism Association – UTA Pearl Horeau Kakoza, Tourism Training Institutions, Hoteliers, Stakeholders and the Media.
The new rules on the preparedness and response for Covid-19 outbreak for the tourism and hospitality industry in Uganda have been put in place to assist and guide tourism and hospitality enterprises along the tourism value chain during the post-COVID-19 lockdown.
These Standard Operating Procedures contained in a 23 paged document shall guide sector operations aimed to ensure compliance to health, hygiene, safety & sanitation guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are also to help protect employees, guests and suppliers including but not limited to tourist accommodation establishments vulnerable to the infection.
These SOP’s emphasize social distancing measures, hand cleaning, and respiratory hygiene and respiratory etiquette, usage and maintenance of hygiene in elevators and escalators, the appointment of response teams and contacts, biohazard disposable waste, food handling, housekeeping, personal protection equipment, kitchen Management, waste management and emergency evacuation, etc.
Standard Operating Procedures for Hospitality Enterprises during the COVID-19 outbreak
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA) and the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have designed a protocol on the preparedness and response for Covid-19 outbreak for the tourism and hospitality industry in Uganda mainly to assist and guide tourism and hospitality enterprises along the tourism value chain during the COVID 19 -post lockdown.
The Board strongly recommends that tourism and hospitality enterprises along the chain follow these guidelines to be a part of the mitigation and recovery mission for the betterment of the tourism industry.
The management of the hospitality enterprises must educate all categories of staff of the critical importance of these procedures designed to make sector operations safe for both guests and staff. It must also be noted that any instructions issued by the government from time to time should be binding.
Tourist Accommodation Establishments:
Tourist accommodation establishments are susceptible to the contagion because they are visited by large numbers of people from different geographical horizons who interact among themselves, management and employees.
Attention should be made to the aspects of lodging and other services like food and beverage, cleaning and the interactions specific to these establishments (guest-guest, guest-staff, and staff-staff).
Social distancing measures, hand cleaning, and respiratory hygiene in an accommodation facility
Social distancing measures together with frequent hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are the main measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Although it is probable that guests are already familiar with these measures, they should be reminded as a form of hospitality.
The following measures that have been communicated by the Ministry of Health, Local Health Authorities and World Health Organization should strictly adhere to all times:
- Social distancing includes refraining from hugging & shaking hands with guests as well as among fellow staff. It involves maintaining a distance of at least 1m (3 ft.) and avoiding anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Hand hygiene means regularly and thoroughly cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water. Also avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand disinfection is indicated after exchanging objects (money, credit cards) with guests.
- Respiratory etiquette means covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. The used tissue should be disposed of immediately in a bin with a lid.
- All indoor areas such as entrance lobbies, corridors and staircases, escalators, elevators, security guard booths, office rooms, meeting rooms, cafeteria should be mopped with a disinfectant (1% sodium hypochlorite or phenolic disinfectants).
- For metallic surfaces like door handles, security locks, keys etc. 70% alcohol can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable
- Kindly refer to the WHO guidelines, central government and local health authorities for additional information on appropriate disinfectants
- Based on the projected occupancy levels the hotel may define/pre-plan the operational timings of each of the areas and convey to the guests accordingly.
Appoint a management team headed by ‘Rapid Response Leader’, ideally an officer in a senior management position and a specially appointed officer and “Rapid Response officers” from each of the operational departments. The management of the establishment should adopt a responsible attitude to address the health threat of COVID-19.
- Action plan
The Management of tourism enterprises should establish an action plan tailored to the situation and implement it in accordance with the recommendations of local and national public health authorities with the aim to prevent cases, effectively manage cases, and mitigate impact among clients and staff, including cleaning and disinfection of rooms occupied by ill persons.
The plan which may incorporate teleworking should be updated when necessary as a consequence of new guidance, procedures or regulations issued by the pertinent authorities.
- Mobilization of resources
The Management Team should avail sufficient human and economic resources to ensure that the action plan can be implemented rapidly and effectively.
The action plan should also include the provision of equipment and procedures developed in collaboration with local health authorities for the management of suspected case(s) and their possible contacts.
The implementation of the action plan and the effectiveness of the measures undertaken should be evaluated frequently to verify compliance, identify and correct gaps, and adapt the plan to more practical experience.
A Crisis Team involving members of each relevant department can support management in the implementation of the action plan and timely identification of required adjustments.
The team should frequently evaluate, identify gaps and adjust in accordance to ensure the practicality and also to make sure that there is a consistent continuation and be alert on unusual and notable incidents.
- Logbook of actions
It is advisable to keep a logbook of the important actions and measures carried out and to record them in enough detail (e.g. including date and time a disinfectant was used, by whom, where, etc.). This logbook can be used to improve the actions implemented.
Communication should be maintained between Management and staff in charge of the different departments in order to pre-define an information policy for guests as well as to rapidly provide and obtain information on incidents that may arise in the establishment and to know the status of the situation at all times.
Providing guidelines to the staff on how they should communicate the action plan to guests and other stakeholders can ensure alignment consistency.
Short documents or informative posters can amplify the key messages among guests and staff, including:
a) Promoting of hand washing
b) Respiratory hygiene
c) Basic Hygiene practices
d) Coughing etiquette
e) Contact information of key staff personnel
f) Emergency Telephone number
Official leaflets on basic hygiene practice and COVID-19, in different languages, could be useful information tools.
It may be useful to have an up-to-date list of the contact information of the staff, including emergency telephone numbers.
- Training and information
Management should inform all staffs of the measures to be adopted and the measures that could protect their health and that of others including the recommendation to stay home and seek medical attention if they have respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or shortness of breath.
Management should organize information briefings that should cover all the basic protective measures against COVID-19 and the signs and symptoms of the disease. Training may be needed for specific procedures.
- Fumigation and Health Inspection
As part of the pre-opening procedures, all enterprises are required to conduct a comprehensive fumigation exercise of the property and general health inspection of staff.
Reception and Concierge
- Information and communication
a) Reception desk staff should be sufficiently informed about COVID-19 so that they can safely carry out their assigned tasks and prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 within the establishment.
b) They should be capable of informing guests who inquire about the establishment’s policy in terms of the preventive measures established or other services that guests may require (for example, medical and pharmacy services available in the area or at the establishment itself).
c) They should also be able to advise guests with respiratory symptoms to stay in their rooms until they are seen by a doctor. Management should arrange immediately as well as provide basic hygiene recommendations whenever asked.
d) The reception desk staff, if possible, should not be with any underlying health conditions.
e) Reception staff are advised to use face guards
f) Reception desk staff must take all necessary precautions, including physical distancing.
g) Official, up-to-date information should be available about travel to and from countries or areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
h) Reception Desk staff should be familiar with the room occupancy policy for accompanying persons in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19.
i) The reception desk should have immediately available the telephone numbers of the health authorities, medical centres, public and private hospitals, and assistance centres for use whenever there is the possibility that a guest may be ill.
- Necessary equipment and medical kit at the reception desk
The reception desk should have a medical kit that includes the following items:
- a) Germicidal disinfectant/wipes for surface cleaning Tissues.
- b) Face/eye masks (separate or combined, face shield, goggles). Note that disposable face masks can only be used once Gloves (disposable)
- c) Protective apron (disposable)
- d) Biohazard disposable waste bag
- Procedure to be followed while monitoring of guests:
While observing regulations in relation to the protection of personal data and the right to privacy, it is advisable to monitor potentially ill guests in the establishment. Reception staff should note all relevant incidents that come to their knowledge, such as requests for doctor’s visits. This information will aid guests through appropriate advice, facilitating early detection, and rapid management of suspected cases with local health authorities. Reception staff must treat all this information with discretion, leaving it up to the management and to medical services to evaluate the situation and make appropriate decisions.
a) All staff in the Reception and Lobby area must wear a face mask as directed by the health authorities. All staff must maintain the social/personal distancing, as far as practical, at all times
b) Obtain information in a form filled with the registration card with information such as country of origin, flight details, date of arrival in Uganda, whether they have visited any of the infected countries over the past 2 months and next destination.
c) Check and record temperature and respiratory symptoms of all guests at the point of checking in. Persons with fever and/or respiratory symptoms to be subjected to a check-up by a Doctor before being permitted to enter the guest rooms. Designate a suitable, comfortable and well laid out room to accommodate the guests during this procedure.
d) Avoid the use of recyclable cold towels when welcoming the guests.
e) Serving the welcome drink must wear disposable gloves. Ensure that the welcome drinks (if served chilled) are stored in sealed containers. Encourage the use of hot drinks where possible. Use of indigenous drinks with known immunity enhancement value must be encouraged. Ensure that the use of straws and decorations are minimized when serving the drink.
f) Arrange checking-in and check-out and any interaction with guests in such a manner that adequate personal distancing is observed between guests and staff.
g) Avoid sharing Telephone instruments with the guests. If the guest needs to use a telephone instrument during the check-in check-out process, have a designated instrument to be used only by the guests. Ensure the designated instrument is disinfected with Alcohol based disinfectant after every use.
h) Do not share pens and pencils with the guests. Have dedicated pens and pencils to be used by the guest as required. Disinfect with Alcohol solution after every use.
i) Staff must use disposable gloves when handling credit cards, cash and any documents such as passports given by the guests. After each such transaction, the disposable gloves must be properly discarded and hand sanitization carried out.
j) Encourage the use of paperless systems for checking in and billing. Minimize the use of paper where possible.
k) Sanitize all key card or key tags, every time it is returned to the reception, before reissuing. All key cards or key tags must be sanitized before issuing to a guest.
l) Inform the guest verbally and/or using messages to the phone not to leave the room if the guest feels unwell but to inform the reception. The reception will arrange to obtain medical assistance to assess the condition of the guest and further action is to be taken as per the medical advice.
m) Staff must refrain from handling children and infants at all times.
n) If guests are to be escorted to the room, avoid the use of crowded elevators as far as practically possible. Use the staff elevator when returning. Avoid touching any surface inside the elevator as far as practically possible. (Exception – Use of control buttons in the hall or in the lift car. Use a disposable glove or finger guard.)
o) Ensure that adequate numbers of hand sanitizers are always available at the front desk.
Technical and maintenance services
It is necessary to maintain the concentration of disinfectant in water for consumption and in pools or spas within the limits recommended according to international norms and standards, preferably at the upper limits of the range.
Dishwashing and laundry equipment
The proper functioning of the dishwashing and laundry equipment should be checked, particularly the operating temperatures, as well as the correct dosage of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.
Attention should be given to monitoring the condition of filters and maintaining the proper replacement rate of indoor air.
The proper functioning of ventilation, air exchange, and dehumidification equipment of covered pools should be checked.
Regular checks should be carried out to ensure the proper functioning of soap and disinfectant solution dispensers, hand dryers, disposable tissue dispensers, and other similar devices. Defective units should be rapidly repaired or replaced.
The hotel action plan should include installing units to dispense disinfectant gel in the different areas of the hotel, including the public restrooms used by guests and by staff, and other areas of interest (e.g. entrance to the dining hall, restaurants, and bars).
a) Discourage the use of crowded elevators. Reduce the number of persons permitted to be in the lift at any given time by prominently displaying such notices and using the lift controls if possible.
b) Implement a very regular and frequent procedure to disinfect the elevator control buttons and handrails. Implement a system to disinfect the entire lift interior at a predetermined interval (every 2 hours/whenever needed). The use of alcohol-based disinfectant is recommended. If the control panels are susceptible to adverse effects due to the use of disinfectants for regular cleaning, consider the use of a removable clear sheet to cover the control panel. Arrange to clean the clear covering sheet regularly and replace as necessary.
c) If the floor covering of the lift car is not an easily cleanable surface such as carpeting, consider the use of a temporary cover (such as clear plastic sheeting) conducive for cleaning and disinfecting.
d) Ensure that the lift ventilating system is functioning effectively to ensure the design air changes are maintained.
e) The floor and wall finishes of the Service elevator must be conducive for easy cleaning and disinfectant.
Restaurants, Breakfast and Dining Rooms and Bars
Information and communication
Restaurants, breakfast, and dining room and bar staff should perform personal hygiene (frequent regular hand washing, cough hygiene) as strictly as possible.
Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast, or dining room to disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.
Buffets and drinks machines
At the buffets, guests should avoid handling food. When necessary, change tongs and ladles more frequently, always leaving these items in separate containers. Clean and disinfect the buffet surfaces after each service.
The coffee machines, soda machines, and others, in particular the parts more in contact with the hands of users, should be cleaned and disinfected at least after each service and more often if necessary.
Washing dishes, silverware, and table linen
The usual procedures should be used. All dishes, silverware, and glassware should be washed and disinfected in a dishwashing machine, including items that have not been used, as they might have been in contact with the hands of guests or staff.
If for any reason manual washing is required, the usual steps should be followed (wash, disinfect, rinse), taking the maximum level of precautions.
Drying should be carried out using disposable paper towels. Likewise, tablecloths and napkins should be washed in the usual manner.
Whenever possible, it is recommended to have a maximum of 4 persons for 10 square meters. Tables shall be arranged such that the distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair shall be more than 1 m apart and that guests face each other from a distance of at least 1 m.
The persons responsible for children should be vigilant for any signs of respiratory disease and should immediately inform the child’s parents and the management of such circumstance.
Depending on the local context, including the number of children and instruction from national health authorities, consideration should be given to closing the recreational areas for children.
Cleaning and Housekeeping
Cleaning and disinfection
Even in the absence of COVID-19 cases in the establishment, it is recommended that hygiene services be enhanced. Special consideration should be given to the application of cleaning and disinfection measures in common areas (restrooms, halls, corridors, lifts, etc.) as a general preventive measure during the entire COVID-19 epidemic. Special attention should be given to objects that are frequently touched such as handles, elevator buttons, handrails, switches, doorknobs, etc. Cleaning staff should be instructed accordingly.
As part of the tourism accommodation establishment action plan for COVID-19, there should be a special cleaning and disinfection plan for situations in which there are sick guests or employees staying at the establishment or identified with COVID-19 within a few days after leaving the establishment. Written recommendations for enhanced cleaning and disinfection should describe the enhanced operating procedures for cleaning, managing solid waste, and for wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
The following should be implemented for rooms or specific areas exposed to COVID-19 cases:
a) Any surfaces that become soiled with respiratory secretions or other body fluids of the ill person(s), e.g. toilet, hand washing basins, and baths should be cleaned with a regular household disinfectant solution containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Surfaces should be rinsed with clean water after 10 minutes contact time for chlorine. Surfaces should be rinsed with clean water after sufficient contact time for the chlorine.
b) Service staff may require additional training in the preparation, handling, application, and storage of these products, mostly bleach, which may be at a higher concentration than usual. The cleaning staff should know how to make sure the bleach is not disintegrated and how to rinse it off after 10 minutes.
c) When the use of bleach is not suitable, e.g. telephone, remote control equipment, door handlings, buttons in the elevator, etc. then alcohol 70% could be used.
d) Whenever possible, use only disposable cleaning materials. Discard any cleaning equipment made of cloths and absorbent materials, e.g. mop head and wiping cloths. When pertinent, disinfect properly non-porous cleaning materials with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution or according to manufacturer’s instructions before using for other rooms.
e) Textiles, linens, and clothes should be put in special, marked laundry bags and handled carefully to prevent raising dust, with consequent potential contamination of surrounding surfaces or people. Instructions should be given for washing them in hot cycles (70ºC or more) with the usual detergents.
f) All Used items must be handled appropriately to mitigate the risk of potential transmission. Disposable items (hand towels, gloves, masks, tissues) should be placed in a container with a lid and disposed of according to the hotel action plan and national regulations for waste management disinfected.
g) Cleaning crews should be trained on the use of PPE and hand hygiene
h) All rooms and common areas should be ventilated daily.
Guest Room Corridors
a) Ensure that the lift lobby and the corridors are regularly disinfected.
b) Ensure that the fresh air supply to the guest corridors are correctly maintained to ensure adequate air changes are available.
c) Implement a system of disinfecting the lift lobby and corridor surfaces regularly.
d) Ensure that all door handles are disinfected regularly with an alcohol-water solution
Monitoring of sick guests
Housekeeping and cleaning staff should inform the management or the reception desk of any pertinent incidents, including possibly sick guests in their rooms. They must treat all this information with discretion.
Availability of materials
- Cleaning staff should be trained on the use of and provided with personal protection equipment as listed below:
- Disposable gowns
- Closed shoes
- If doing procedures that generate splashes (e.g. while washing surfaces), add facial protection with a face shield and impermeable aprons.
- They should also have access to sufficient disinfectant solutions and other supplies.
The following measures should apply to Kitchen Management:
a) Thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas of the kitchen including work surfaces, equipment, floors and walls.
b) Clean the exhaust canopies, including the grease filters and sanitize.
c) Clean and service the exhaust fan(s) and ensure the exhaust system is functioning correctly.
d) Service the fresh air supply fans and ensure that the supply air is maintained at the designed levels. This is extremely important to dilute contaminants.
e) Check and ensure all equipment are in good and proper working order. Special attention must be given to cold storage equipment and food warmers where the correct temperatures must be maintained. The interiors of the food storage equipment including doors and door gaskets must be sanitized.
f) Check and ensure that the dishwasher and the glasswashers are functioning correctly and the Rinse temperatures are correctly maintained.
g) Check and ensure that the gas leak detector and the automatic shut off valve are fitted and in proper operation
h) Ensure that all work surfaces are sanitized before the commencement of work.
i) Ensure that all uncooked and cooked food is kept covered at all times.
j) Ensure that all prepared food is stored at correct temperatures and kept covered at all times.
k) Ensure that washed cutlery, crockery and glassware are stored in covered shelves.
l) Ensure that there is no cross-contamination of washed cutlery, crockery and glassware during storage and transportation to the final user point.
m) All staff working in the kitchen must be in clean uniformed attire including footwear.
n) All staff must wear a face mask and gloves when handling food.
o) Only the kitchen staff must be permitted in the kitchen area.
p) The Chef on duty must conduct a briefing at the beginning of each shift and ensure that the staff is in uniformed attire and are fully conversant with the required hygiene standards.
q) Kitchen stewarding staff should use proper uniform and appropriate accessories such as waterproof aprons and footwear when performing different tasks such as pot washing.
r) All staff must confine themselves to the designated working areas and avoid moving around and mixing with others.
s) Kitchen floor must be regularly mopped and sanitized right through the operation.
t) Hand sanitizers must be made available in each section of the kitchen.
u) Dishwashers and glasswashers must be cleaned and completely drained at the end of the day’s operation.
v) All pots and pans and other utensils must be cleaned and sanitized at the end of the day’s operation or whenever needed.
w) Chopping boards and knives must be sanitized by immersing in the dedicated sanitizing baths at the end of the day’s operation.
x) All equipment and working surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized at the end of the day’s operations or whenever needed.
y) The kitchen floors, walls and other surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized at the end of the day’s operation or whenever needed.
z) All mops and brushes used for cleaning must be washed, sanitized and left to dry at regular intervals.
Kitchen waste disposal
a) Ensure that adequate colour coded, foot-operated bins in good operating condition are available to correctly dispose of the different waste material.
b) Empty the bins when approximately half full and at the end of each meal and taken straight away to the designated storage areas.
c) All emptied bins must be thoroughly washed, cleaned and sanitized. The clean bins must be left to dry and be ready for use.
d) Staff handling waste must wear suitable protective gloves and boots and use proper utensils to minimize physical handling.
e) Staff handling waste must remove the protective gear used, clean and sanitize them for re-use and place in the allocated areas at the end of each operation.
f) Waste handling staff must ensure that they wear clean footwear and have sanitized themselves when returning to the kitchen.
Handling COVID-19 cases in Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Establishments
If a guest or staff develops symptoms of acute respiratory infection, efforts should immediately be made to minimize contact of the ill person with all guests and staff of the establishment. Reception or other hotel staff should follow the procedures in the action plan for the situation when a guest develops signs and symptoms indicative of COVID-19 as they contact the responsible health professionals.
- Separate the ill person from the other persons by at least 2 m (6 ft) in a designated isolation room.
- Request the ill person to wear a mask and practice respiratory hygiene when coughing and sneezing. If the mask cannot be tolerated by the ill person, provide tissues to cover the mouth and discard the tissue immediately into a biohazard disposal waste bag or place it into an intact plastic bag, seal it, and consider it “biohazard” waste; wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- In case the ill person cannot wear a mask, direct contact with the ill person should be avoided unless wearing at least a disposable gown, gloves, a mask, and eye protection.
- When attending to an ill guest or staff coming from an affected area who displays fever, persistent cough, or difficulty breathing, always use additional protective equipment (provided in the Universal Precaution Kit), including mask, eye protection, gloves, and a gown.
- Remove PPE carefully to avoid contaminating yourself. Remove first gloves and gown, do hand hygiene; next remove the mask and eye protection, and immediately wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Properly dispose of gloves and other disposable items that had contact with the ill person’s body fluids in a biohazard bag or a secured plastic bag, which will be considered as “biohazard” waste.
Case of an Affected Worker
If a member of the staff reports respiratory symptoms, the staff must immediately stop work and seek medical assistance. The staff should stay isolated in a suitable room while the medical services are being notified.
Staff who report from home that they are ill with respiratory symptoms should be advised to stay at home and seek medical attention.
Staff who report from home that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the instructions received from the health authorities, including the recommendation of self-isolation at home until fully healed.
Case of an Affected Guest
If the person affected is a guest of the tourism accommodation establishment, continued stay of the sick person in the establishment is not recommended. The person can be isolated in a room on a temporary basis until the intervention of local health authorities and provided the room is not shared with other guests.
No visitors should be permitted to enter the room occupied by the affected guest.
Depending on the availability of rooms, accompanying persons, if any, should be moved to a different room
Measures for the management of contacts can be referred to WHO interim guidance on Home care for patients with COVID-19 presenting with mild symptoms and management of their contacts.
Hotel and tourism accommodation establishment staff taking part in the evacuation of a suspected case:
- In order to minimize the risk of contaminating other guests or members of the staff, symptomatic guests should leave the hotel according to instructions from the management of the establishment and local health authority. Symptomatic guest will be assessed for their condition and, if they fulfil the definition of a suspected case, they will be transferred to a designated health care facility.
- Management of the possible contacts of the sick guest should take place in accordance with instructions from the local public health authority. The local health authority should rapidly update the regional or national health authority on the outcome of examinations and if further actions must be taken.
- Staff involved in the transportation of the suspected case should apply infection prevention and control practices according to WHO guidance. They should routinely perform hand hygiene and wear a medical mask, eye protection, gloves, and gown when loading suspected COVID-19 patients for transport in the ambulance. They should ensure that they clean their hands before putting on PPE and after removing it.
- If more than one suspected case is being transported, personnel and health personnel should change their PPE between each patient to avoid possible cross-contamination between suspected, but not confirmed, cases of COVID-19. They should dispose of the used PPE appropriately in containers with a lid in accordance with the hotel action plan and national regulations for infectious waste.
- The driver of the ambulance should stay separated from the cases. If possible, the driver should not be involved in loading the patient into the ambulance. If assisting with the loading of the suspected COVID-19 patient the driver should wear PPE, including a mask, gloves, gown, and eye protection.
- Ambulance or transport vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected with special attention to the areas in contact with the suspected case. Cleaning should be done with a regular household disinfectant solution containing 0.5% sodium hypochlorite. After the bleach has been allowed to remain in contact with the surface for at least 1 minute, it may be rinsed off with clean water. As an alternative to bleach, ambulances may use hospital-grade disinfectant products according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
- The hotel management should provide access to services for cleaning and disinfection of the room occupied by the sick person in accordance with an action plan, following the cleaning and disinfection protocols for rooms with cases. In case that this is not possible, the on-duty housekeeper should be instructed to clean and disinfect the room occupied by the sick person, following the cleaning and disinfection protocols for rooms with cases and observing personal protective measures.
- If there is no other option but to keep a sick guest suspected of COVID-19, with mild symptoms, self-isolation in the room should be considered. Doctor’s visits should be carried out in the sick person’s room whenever possible.
- A sick guest who is suspected of COVID-19 should stay in an individual room, except in the case of children or persons requiring caretakers. The guest should receive food in the room. Sick persons should not share a bathroom with other persons, and neither should they share towels, blankets, or any type of clothing with their caretakers.
- Caretakers must adopt strict precautionary measures, including wearing PPE, whenever they come close to or has direct contact with the sick person. The room should then be organized to allow for proper dressing of PPE and, in a separate area, for disposal of used/contaminated PPE.
- Only one person should be in charge of caring for the sick person. Pregnant women or other persons with a high risk of developing a severe disease caused by COVID-19 should not serve as caretakers.
- Caretakers should self-monitor for the appearance of symptoms, especially fever and cough, and receive medical attention if such symptoms appear.
- The clothing of the sick patient, as well as the linen of the room he or she occupies, should be washed following the usual procedures. As a precautionary measure, these items should be stored and transported in sealed bags.
- Note: The management of the hotel and tourism accommodation establishment has no authority to force sick guests to temporarily remain in their room or to prevent them from receiving visits from other guests.
Restaurants, Cafes, Cafeterias, and Takeaway Outlets Serving Clients
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the food serving businesses serving clients need to be ensured for compliance with proper food hygiene standards and to follow proper procedures to prevent contamination and spreading of the virus both to their staffs and to the customers visiting their premises and those obtaining their catering services.
The following guideline, therefore, focuses on maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, protecting staff from the risk of infection, maintaining physical distancing when dealing with large numbers of customers and also to ensure all their supplies are safe. Pre-preparations prior to opening for tourists:
Work closely with the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to conduct tests for all food preparation/ handling and serving staff and ensure COVID 19 free.
b) Appoint a dedicated senior officer to check on safety and proper implementation of given guidelines
c) Arrange awareness/training sessions for the entire staff on personal hygiene, food hygiene and how to follow proper safety procedures during the Pandemic.
d)Provide adequate supplies of safety equipment, dresses, gloves and masks and disinfectants
e) Re-arrange the seating arrangements to keep 1-meter distance among the guests and also during communication
f) Encourage using on-line payments and discourage money transactions
g) Make sure only 50% of the normal occupancy is allowed in the restaurant or food outlet. A prior reservation mechanism is recommended to avoid over-crowding and unnecessary disappointments for guests.
h) Steel cutlery must be washed in hot water. It is the same with glassware and crockery.
i) It is a must to arrange hot water for washing purpose.
j) Keep records of all suppliers, the date of supply of each item.
k) Notices on procedures to follow should be displayed or announced.
Front of the house is the first impression guests will have when arriving at your restaurant and needs to be an atmosphere that will make them feel comfortable throughout their dining experience, especially during the pandemic situation. This is where appearance is everything.
Cleaning Supplies Needed
- Surface and glass spray cleaners.
- Sanitizer solution (bleach).
- Disinfectant liquids with spray guns
- Proper safety clothes and equipment for the cleaning staff (Masks, Gloves
- & covered shoes are compulsory)
- Clean cloths.
- Mop and bucket of hot soapy water.
- Vacuum for carpeted areas and hard to reach nooks.
- Bathroom cleaner and toilet brush.
- Paper supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins
During the Shift
a) Make sure the 1meter distance is maintained by the staff as well as the guests
b) At the entrance, a staff member in proper safety dresses should spray hand sanitizers to each customer
c) Make sure all the staff are wearing masks
d) Spray and wipe down high traffic surfaces like door handles, railings, seats and tabletops as often as needed. During a health crisis, have a staff member do this much more frequently.
e) Avoid using any communal condiments that usually live on tables, like bottles of ketchup, and providing them only when asked — and wiping them down after each use.
f) Spot clean windows and glass doors so they are free of smudges and streaks.
g) Check that each table has a clean and fully-stocked setting.
h) Frequently check bathrooms for cleanliness.
i) Only paper napkins are allowed.
When Closing Out
- Disinfect the floor, walls and furniture on the premises.
- Wash all glassware, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans and cooking utensils with hot water.
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize bathroom surfaces.
- Empty all bins using proper safety procedures
Bar Cleaning Checklist (Registered Restaurants/Pubs)
The bar is a busy area that’s on full display to guests. It’s important to keep it clean for safety as well as for appearances.
Cleaning Supplies Needed
- Surface spray cleaners.
- Several clean bar rags.
- Sanitizer solution (bleach).
- Trash bags/Foot-operated bins
- Other usual cleaning equipment such as brooms/dusters etc.
During the Shift
- Wipe down the bar, very frequently. Use sanitizing solution often and switch out your bar rag more often than usual during a health crisis.
- Run glassware through the dishwasher.
- Refill disposables like napkins, stirrers, and straws.
- Empty trash and recycling bins using safe garbage disposal methods
When Closing Out
- Clean and empty garnish trays using proper safety methods
- Disinfect bottles and speedwells.
- Completely empty and sanitize ice wells.
- Remove floor mats for cleaning & disinfecting
- Sanitize the floor, walls, bar counter and all other furniture.
Communication and Hygiene Measure
- Food safety practices for staff: Food safety practices in food premises should continue to be delivered to the highest hygiene standards in line with established international standards. Good staff hygienic practices include:
- a) Body temperature should be checked daily and check for any symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- b) The staff should wear clean cloths within the premises and it is mandatory to wear masks, gloves and aprons
- c) Proper hand hygiene – washing with soap and water
- d) Frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- e) Good respiratory hygiene (cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; dispose of tissues and wash hands)
- f) Frequent cleaning/disinfection of work surfaces and touchpoints such as door handles
- g) Keep 1-meter distance at all times
- Following measures are to be adopted in addition to the general measures described above.
a) Should disinfect all the surfaces of chairs and tables after each use
b) All workers and customers should maintain at least 1-meter distance inside the restaurants and eateries. Furniture should be arranged accordingly.
c) All workers should wear face masks & gloves.
d) If possible, display the menu either by the TV screen, display board or under the glass pad of the table despite using printed menu cards.
e) Places where buffets are available, there should be a dedicated staff member(s) to serve the food to avoid many customers handling spoons and other utensils in the buffet.
f) All cleaning staff should wear gloves and masks.
g) Waiters shall wash their hands frequently to prevent any cross-contamination.
h) Culinary equipment and crockery should be thoroughly washed with soap and water. (Recommend a dishwasher and a glass washer machine)
Safe Distancing Measures for Stand-alone Restaurants
- Retail establishments that are permitted to remain open must adhere to safe distancing measures by putting in place a crowd and queue management system to minimize crowds by 50% at one time within their premises:
- Ensure at least one-meter spacing between customers is enforced at all times, and limit the number of customers within the store to allow for the one-meter spacing.
- Encourage the use of cashless or contactless payment, to speed up the payment process and reduce cash-handling.
- Encourage customers to limit entry to 3-4 per family (depends on the numbers) when entering restaurants, where practicable. (Depends on the restaurant’s covers)
Guest Wash Room Facilities
a) Disinfect frequently touched areas such as door handle, water taps, door/towel/cistern handles, and seats and cover flaps, washbasins, doorknobs, buttons and switches with disinfectant regularly.
b) Provide an adequate supply of toilet paper, paper towels (if provided) or hand dryers and liquid soap at all times.
c) Ensure toilet-flushing apparatus is functioning at all times.
d) Ensure all sanitary pipes and fittings are in good working condition.
e) Provide foot-operated bins inside the washrooms with trash bags.
f) Provide hand sanitizers outside the washrooms (preferably sensor operated)
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