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COVID-19 UPDATES AND PROTOCOLS

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has had a terrible impact in the global economy and specially in the tourism business. In April 8th 2020, the Ethiopian Government declared the State of Emergency (SOE) as a measure to prevent the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease. Some of the preventive actions included the closure of land borders and schools, freedom for thousands of prisoners to ease overcrowding, spraying main streets in the capital with disinfectant, and discouragement of large gatherings. Although the SOE did not specify any punishment for not wearing a mask or exceeding limits on gatherings, punishments for violations of the SOE range from 1,000 up to 200,000 ETB and three years in jail.

Starting in October 2020, the following measures have been announced by the Ethiopian Government:

• All international passengers above the age of ten, except transit travelers, arriving to Ethiopia shall bring a certificate of negative RT PCR test from the country they are coming from done up to 120 hours or five days before arriving in Ethiopia. Please note that passengers who have a certificate of negative COVID-19 RT PCR test are required to bring the printed copy of the same. Rapid diagnostic test (RDT antibody test) certificate will not be accepted.
•  If any traveler arriving at the Bole International Airport shows any symptom of COVID-19, he shall be taken to one of the temporary isolation centres prepared by the government where he will obtain follow up in accordance with the COVID-19 medical manual
•  Any person who is corona virus positive is prohibited from entering the country.
Transit travellers arriving to Bole International Airport are not allowed to leave the airport and enter the city. For those passengers with a layover higher than 24 hours, self-quarantine at the designated hotel by the airline will be required.

For more information please visit the following online resources:
Federal Ministry of Health
Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Ethiopian Airlines COVID-19 Page

At Inside Ethiopia Tours, we are actively working to make sure we comply with all the safety and hygiene protocols and ensure our staff members and visitors to stay safe. In compliance with the protocols of WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), the guidelines of WHO (World Health Organisation) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), we are currently working on the following objectives to ensure new safety practices and standards:
1. Ensure daily disinfection and cleaning of our office and vehicles are implemented before opening time/start of the tour
2. Implement protocols to minimise physical contact by allowing only two people to enter the office at the same time and keeping 2 meters distance
3. Provide our staff members with the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as face masks and gloves
4. Work with our suppliers and partners, including restaurants, hotels, national parks, transport partners and venues to make sure they follow health and hygiene protocols and guidelines to protect our guests

We are monitoring the latest news regarding the pandemic and therefore these protocols may vary as new information becomes available about COVID-19. Please find below the actions required to prevent the spread of the disease:

Inside Ethiopia Tours office staff
• Office staff must check their temperature everyday before entering the office. In case of fever or other symptoms related to Covid-19 disease, inform the General Manager and proceed to self-isolate
• Disinfect your desk with the hydrogel before start working
• Keep windows and doors open at all times to ensure ventilation
• Use face mask at all times inside the office
• Avoid handshaking or sharing any kind of documents or other items

Inside Ethiopia Tours drivers and vehicles
• All drivers shall disinfect vehicles before starting the tour with special attention on handles, safety belts, seating surfaces, head rests and windows.
• Regular disinfections shall be done during the day while customers are visiting or having lunch
• Keep windows a bit open to ensure ventilation
• Make sure hand sanitiser and spare face masks are available in the car to provide to customers
• When the group is from different household units or bubble, reduce the capacity of the car up to 50%
• Wear face mask at all times while driving
• If driving a bus, make sure passengers do not change seats and keep the distance when entering and leaving the vehicle

Inside Ethiopia Tours guides
• Guides must check their temperature everyday before starting the tour. In case of fever or other symptoms related to Covid-19 disease, inform the General Manager and proceed to self-isolate
• Keep the distance during visits
• Avoid handshaking
• Check protocols at the main attractions before starting the visit and inform guests about any measures that shall be taken
• Bring their own face masks and hand sanitiser and wear it at all times during indoor visits, driving time or when physical distancing can not be guaranteed

Travellers
• Travellers must comply with the entry regulations dictated by the Ethiopian Government (e.g. hold a negative RT PCR test certificate for COVID-19 before boarding a flight that does not exceed 120 hours on arrival from the date sample)
• Hold a travel insurance
• Bring their own face masks and hand sanitiser and wear it at all times during indoor visits, driving time or when physical distancing can not be guaranteed
• Make sure they do not present any symptoms related to COVID-19 disease. In that case, inform the tour leader
• Collaborate on temperature screenings or any protocol or safety measures in place during tour visits
• Keep social distance during tour visits and do not change seats when travelling by road

During the tour
• Guides will inform customers about any specific safety measures prior to the visit
• Physical distancing will be practice during visits and both customers and staff members are required to wear face masks at all times
• Inside Ethiopia Tours will be in charge of purchasing all tickets or permits prior the visit to avoid any queue by the customers
• Please note that some attractions may require to be booked in advance

Protocols in place at hotels or restaurants
• Temperature screenings will take place upon check-in or before entering the restaurant or the hotel
• Physical distancing should be in place. Tables at restaurants should keep a minimum of 1.5 meters distance
• Staff members in hotels and restaurants shall wear a face mask at all times
• Hand sanitiser should be available in common areas such as the hotel lobby or the entrance of restaurants
• Disinfection and cleaning must be done regularly on contact surfaces and restrooms
• Outdoor eating will be advisable at all times if available
• Customers are expected to avoid changing seats at restaurants
• Buffet options to be avoid by a la carte menu

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