18 May 2021. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ha publicado la Especificación ISO/PAS 5643 Requisitos y recomendaciones para la reducción del contagio de la Covid-19 en la industria turística, un esperado estándar que se convertirá en el referente mundial con las mejores prácticas para reducir riesgos frente al coronavirus en el sector del turismo. The initiative has been led by Spain, through the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, Spanish member of ISO and the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE), supported by the State Secretary for Tourism of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
Once again, Spain, the world's leading country in tourism competitiveness, is leading an ISO standard, thus exporting its know-how, experience and the national model to the whole world
The Specification ISO PAS 5643 establishes the requirements and recommendations for reducing the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the tourism industry, with the aim of offering safer services, generating confidence among tourists, residents as well as employees. It covers practically all sub-sectors of tourism.
After more than a year of pandemic, the gradual roll-out of vaccines and the creation of the European green digital certificate are making us look forward to planning a well-deserved holiday again. In this context, the ISO/PAS 5643 Standard will help the sector prepare to offer safe services, in keeping with international best practices.
Estándar mundial Made in Spain
The origin of the ISO/PAS 5643 specification goes back to the urgent assignment issued by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism through the Secretary of State for Tourism to the ICTE in April 2020, with the objective of achieving harmonised protocols at state level.
As a result and in record time, the ICTE, together with the main bodies, occupational risk prevention organisations and trade unions, agreed on 22 documents that were subsequently validated by the Ministry of Health. In a second step, these guidelines became the series of Specifications UNE 0066-8:2020 Measures for reducing the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2., origin of the international document ISO/PAS 5643.
In July 2020, Spain, under the leadership of ICTE, presented its ISO/PAS 5643 project to the International Committee for its vote ISO/TC 228 Tourism and related services. After its approval at the end of September, a group formed of experts from more than 20 countries and prestigious international organisations such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Cafés in Europe (HOTREC) and the European consumer voice in standardisation (ANEC) started work. Many experts have since joined the initiative, and after more than six months of intense discussions, the ISO/PAS 5643 Specification has now been published.
In parallel, in January 2021, the European Commission requested the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) to draw up a European protocol on hygiene and health to deal with COVID-19 in the tourism sector.
In order to avoid duplication of efforts and documents, CEN has decided to adopt ISO PAS 5643 as a regulatory document CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA 5643 Part 1 Tourism and related services - Requirements and guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism industry (ISO PAS 5643)).
Similarly, with the aim of collecting the European Commission's express request for the creation of a visual image that promoted Europe as a destination Insurance, CWA 5643 Part 2 Tourism and related services - Requirements and guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism industry - European visual image has been developed in CEN.
The three documents, prepared under the leadership of Spain, have been published in a coordinated and simultaneous manner by CEN and ISO. The incorporation of ISO/PAS 5643 in its official Spanish version is planned for the national catalogue of standards as UNE-ISO/PAS 5643 in June.
The Spanish UNE 0066 Standard has succeeded in becoming a global and European benchmark for the tourism sector in terms of hygiene and health protocols against COVID-19. Spain also has a considerable advantage in terms of its implementation, with more than 1,000 establishments bearing the Safe Tourism Certified seal, which is awarded by the ICTE in accordance with the UNE 0066 Standard.
The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, is a world leader on matters of tourism, and UNE manages the ISO/TC 228 international standardization technical committee, tasked with writing this standard. In this committee, experts from more than 100 countries and over 20 prestigious international organizations have published 35 ISO standards in areas such as lodging, diving, sustainable tourism, medical tourism and more.
In addition, several Spanish standards were used as a reference for the development of international standards, such as UNE 302001 on Industrial Tourism, and the UNE-ISO 13009 for beaches. In addition, UNE, with the help of the WTO and Fundación ONCE, leads the future ISO 21902 on accessible tourism for all.
The ISO/PAS 5643 standard is structured into three main chapters: the first one contains the common requirements that all organizations have to comply with (general measures, contingency plan, requirements involving information, personnel, cleaning and disinfection, and ventilation measures, etc.).
The second chapter includes specific guidelines for each sub-sector (from beaches to restaurants, nightlife, accommodations and sightseeing).
The third main section involves auxiliary or complementary services, whose requirements only apply to those tourist organizations that have these facilities or services (public bathrooms, lifts, swimming pools, children's areas, shops, etc.).
Rounding out the document is an informative annex on masks (types, usage guidelines, etc.) and a second annex with accessibility considerations to take into account when designing a contingency plan.