23 September 2020. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has approved today the start of work on the international standard on measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the tourism sector. This future global standard will be based on the 21 UNE 0066 Specifications published this summer by the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, a Spanish member of ISO, in collaboration with the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE). Spain is leading this global initiative, exporting its experience and knowledge all over the world.
The future Specification ISO PAS 5643 will establish the requirements and recommendations for reducing the contagion of COVID-19 in the tourism industry, with the aim of offering safer services and generating confidence among tourists, residents and employees.
This document, which is scheduled to be published in the first half of 2021, will apply to the entire tourism value chain, with general requirements and other specific ones for the different subsectors: from hotels and apartments to rural accommodation, including beaches, tourist bus companies, museums and travel agencies, among others.
Last June, UNE, in collaboration with the ICTE, published the Specification UNE 0066 comprising a series of 21 parts aimed at the safe provision of tourist services in the different subsectors. The UNE 0066 Specification, which both UNE and ICTE
have made the company available free of charge on their websites, and it is now the reference for drawing up the international standard.
These 21 protocols, consensual and homogeneous for the entire Spanish territory, were drawn up in record time by the ICTE, in collaboration with the Secretary of State for Tourism, the Autonomous Communities, representatives of the Municipalities designated by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), experts appointed by the main tourism employer associations, the unions with the highest level of implementation in the country and occupational risk prevention associations.
Public-private collaboration were key to harmonising guidelines, which were subsequently 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 contact. They complement the existing sectoral UNE Standards on tourism quality that help to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector.