Undercover inspectors to check Turkish hotels’ implementation of COVID-19 measures

Turkey’s Tourism Ministry will start sending out undercover inspectors to check hygiene and safety standards at hotels as part of its new “healthy tourism certificate” program.

The ministry said Tuesday that secret inspectors will visit restaurants of hotels as “mystery guests” and will review a wide range of details from the disinfection of pools to cutlery being used to ensure the ministry’s new COVID-19 regulations have been implemented.

Inspectors will send their reviews to the ministry and the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), and the “healthy tourism certificates” of hotels that do not meet the criteria will be suspended or canceled.

TSE’s Mediterranean region coordinator Hasan Demirtaş said hotels that obtain the certificate will be inspected on a monthly basis by the officials and undercover inspectors will be sent every two months.

Turkey introduced the “healthy tourism certificate” program in May to ensure the safety of local and foreign tourists and employees along with providing the continuation of businesses related to the tourism industry, one of the sectors most affected by the virus outbreak.

The new certificates set criteria for health and hygiene in airplanes, airports and other transportation hubs, as well as hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes. They will be awarded by international institutions, and information will be sent to tour operators and will be accessible to tourists.

At the hotels, the temperatures of the customers will also be checked and they will wait at the reception abiding by the social distancing markers. Front desk personnel will have to wear visors and face masks.

The glasses in the hotel rooms will be disposable from now on and the rooms will be disinfected after each customer checks out of the hotel. Items such as the television remote control will also be wrapped in disposable bags.

Tables in restaurants will be arranged in accordance with social distancing rules and customers will no longer be allowed to take food from open buffets. Instead, the food will be served by the restaurant staff.

The number of people who are allowed to enter the swimming pools and beaches will also be limited depending on the size of the facility to prevent overcrowding, and hotel staff will regularly warn customers to maintain social distancing even at the sea.

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