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UNE Specifications published to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the tourism sector


The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, in collaboration with the Spanish Institute for Tourism Quality (ICTE), has published 22 UNE Specifications that establish guidelines and recommendations for the reduction of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in the tourism sector. The Spanish Association for Standardization has made these documents open access, available free of charge to anyone to use.

The UNE 0066 Specification is made up of a series of parts aimed at the safe provision of tourist services in the different subsectors.

The last to be published relates to ski and mountain resorts (UNE 0066-22).

The other specifications in this series cover visits to beaches, wineries, industrial organisations, cultural and historical sites, tourist coach companies, car rental companies, cable transport and water transport companies, nautical sports facilities and nautical activities, night leisure, protected natural spaces, amusement and leisure parks, MICE tourism and unique public spaces.

These are in addition to recently published UNE Specifications for spas, hotels and tourist apartments, travel agencies, campsites and holiday resorts, restaurants and catering services, rural accommodation, golf courses, tourist guides, museums and heritage sites, tourist information offices, inns/hostels, active tourism and ecotourism.

These specifications have been drawn up in record time by the ICTE, in collaboration with the main tourism employer associations, trade unions and Tourism Authorities of different levels. In fact, it was the Secretary of State for Tourism who entrusted the ICTE with the task of drafting agreed and homogeneous protocols in all Autonomous Communities.

Public-private collaboration has been key to harmonising guidelines, which have subsequently been validated by the Ministry of Health. The proposed measures are aimed at the sector and are added to the measures of social distancing, barrier gestures and the use of face masks intended for the population and tourists.

These guidelines address aspects such as the drafting of a contingency plan, cleaning and disinfection, access and capacity control, the personal protective equipment for staff, and the prioritisation of online bookings and payments to avoid physical contact. Although they can be applied independently, these specifications complement the existing sectoral UNE Standards on tourism quality that help to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.

These UNE Specifications are key tools, backed by healthcare experts, for the implementation of a series of hygiene and health safety protocols that guarantee the minimisation of risk of infection from coronavirus. They will also avoid a territorial dispersion of protocols and help prepare for the reopening of the tourism sector once the lockdown measures are eased, promoting the image of Spain as a safe tourist destination.