COVID-19 Safe Travel Guidelines

After more than half a year since the outbreak of the pandemic, Ethiopia re-opened for tourism again and we do know that safety will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

To this end, we’re following the robust protocols of WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), the guidelines of WHO (World Health Organisation) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to implement new safety practices and standards for our company.

These will augment the health and safety guidelines set out by destinations themselves create worry-free travel experiences for our guests.

STANDARD PROCEDURES

Our guidelines are being revised and updated regularly as the circumstances and needs arise, so the following should be seen as current and up to date guidelines that will be revised further to ensure guests visiting our destinations are provided with top-tier safety standards.

ACTIONS BY TRAVELLERS

  • Guests should bring masks and pocket sanitizer
  • Have compulsory comprehensive travel insurance
  • Wear mask in vehicles and when indoors when physical distancing can't be guaranteed
  • Wash hands frequently, avoid touching face
  • Expect regular contact-less temperature screening at entrance of any place
  • Physical distancing
  • Personal refillable water bottle (optional)

ARRIVAL IN ETHIOPIA

  • Arrival formalities are dictated by Ethiopian authorities
  • Updated entry requirements can be found HERE.

GUIDES & DRIVERS

  • Drivers and guides wear face masks at all times when physical distancing can't be guaranteed
  • Drivers and guides cannot work if they feel unwell or have fever above 37.5 Celsius
  • Strictly NO handshaking between drivers/guides and clients
  • Briefing on COVID-19 situation on arrival with specifics on local measures and distancing
  • No distribution of documents/papers from guides to clients
  • Guides to carry spare face masks in case clients require new ones
  • Daily temperature checks by guide of driver and clients, logged by guides
  • In the case of elevated temperatures by guides/drivers or clients, after prior consultation with the clients, measures like isolating, testing or cutting short the tour will be taken

VEHICLES

  • Disinfection of car during the day, while clients are visiting or having meals
  • Special focus on handles, safety belts, seating surfaces, head rests and windows
  • Vehicle disinfection log to be kept by driver
  • Disinfectant to be alcohol-based and follow WHO standards
  • Disinfectant hand sanitizer available on board for clients
  • For group tours seating on buses to remain assigned – no rotation
  • Capacity of vehicles at 50% of normal capacity, if passengers are not from the same household unit or bubble
  • On bigger vehicles, embarking and disembarking by rows

VISITS

  • Visits will be planned and adapted to avoid crowded locations like markets and other places
  • Briefings/reminders on physical distancing and specific safety precautions prior to arrival at each site
  • Clients can choose to skip a visit or ask guides to change if they don’t feel comfortable
  • No queuing by clients, tickets will be purchased in advance by company/guide where possible
  • Physical distancing during visits/walks
  • It may be required to book pre-allocated visiting times at certain sites

RESTAURANTS

  • All restaurants to emphasize spacing between tables with min 1.5m and ideally 2m separation
  • If client agrees, outside or terrace seating can be booked when available and desired
  • Contact-less temperature checks on arrival at restaurants when available
  • All seating arrangements and chairs to be disinfected/wiped
  • All restaurant staff to wear masks
  • Hand sanitizing alcohol to be provided at entrances and throughout restaurants
  • Restrooms to be cleaned regularly and contact surfaces wiped/sanitized
  • If restaurants offer buffets, there should always be the alternative to order a la carte

HOTELS

  • Temperature screening via thermal or con tactless screening upon check-in
  • Hotels will follow physical distancing rules and an enhanced cleaning protocol in all areas
  • Room service will be arranged if guests prefer
  • Pool and fitness facilities will be subject to distancing rules and regular disinfection

WASTE DISPOSAL

We are aware that most of these measures increase the waste we produce. As a sustainable business, SimienEcoTours tries to minimize waste by using reusable and washable masks for travelers and employees, buying sanitizer in bigger bottles instead of small ones. Car cleaning will be done with disinfected washable and reusable towels.