Following recommendations from the ICTE (Institute of Touristic Quality in Spain), CEFAPIT (Spanish Confederation of Official Tourist Guides) and ANETA (National Association of Active Tourism Enterprises), we have drawn up a COVID-19 protocol that applies to our specific tours.
In general, the characteristics of our tours (small groups of 2-10 persons, no use of microphones or headphones because of this small size, tours in the open air and internet payment system) mean that the transmission risk of the Corona virus is already reduced considerably.
Nevertheless, we take the following precautions before, during and after our tours to reduce the risk further.
For each tour, we conduct a risk analysis. Questions that we ask ourselves are: where are busy points on the route? Do we need to go inside of buildings? Where is personal contact unavoidable? For each risk, we come up with measures to reduce them, such as taking another route or changing the time schedule to avoid crowds.
We already work with small groups (2-10 persons), which in principle according to the current legislation, are allowed to join a tour together. However, when multiple (groups of) people booked the same tour on the same date and time, we will try to divide them over multiple guides or find an alternative date.
We provide information about risk reduction before, at the start, during and after each tour. Before each tour, the guide makes sure (s)he is aware of the latest situation regarding opening times and protective measures along the itinerary. (S)he communicates this with the clients beforehand. At the start and during the tour, the guide points clients to potential critical points (e.g. busy or small streets) and places where they can disinfect their hands and/or material. After the tour, the guide emphasizes the importance of disinfection and other measures.
To reduce the risk of interpersonal contagion of the virus, we keep the 1.5-2-meter distance rules and encourage our clients to do this as well. In case this distance cannot be guaranteed, the guide uses a suitable face mask. Personal contact such as hand shaking is avoided. Where possible, the guide and clients will wash their hands or use disinfectant solution.
To reduce the risk of contagion in a closed place (e.g. a museum), we follow the protocol of the specific establishment. Depending on the exact place, this can mean that only a maximum amount of people are allowed, temperature of visitors is measured before entering, hands need to be disinfected before entering and face masks are required. We inform the clients before the start of the tour about the requirements so they know what to expect and potentially bring.
We encourage clients to come as much as possible with their own vehicle to the start of the tour. When using our own transportation or use one of our partners’ transportation, we make sure they are disinfected and the passengers wear face masks.
To reduce the risk of contagion because of shared materials, we simply limit the sharing of material as much as possible. We encourage our clients to bring their own material (i.e. walking sticks, binoculars) as much as possible and not to share it with other clients other then their household. When there is a specific request to use our material during our tour, we disinfect it before and after use.
To reduce the risk of contagion because of items provided during the tour, we take disinfecting measures. Food, water bottles and other items are disinfected before use. Subsequently, they are separated in bags for each customer and handed out at the start of the tour. Use of printed materials is reduced.
Last but not least, we ask you, our client, to use common sense and take your own responsibility. Please, follow the instructions of our guides, the places we visit and the local authorities. When you have COVID-19 symptoms, please inform us so we can cancel the tour and look for alternatives. With these measures, we eliminate the risks as much as possible and still let you enjoy all Asturias has to offer!
This document is regularly updated following the most recent insights from the Spanish and Asturian government concerning active tourism, ecotourism and tourist guides. Last update: May 26, 2020