The Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health has launched the “Qatar Clean” program in all hotels across the country to reassure international visitors in preparation for welcoming them back to the country.
The “Qatar Clean program,” which was been developed following a robust review of the best safety initiatives from around the world, ensures strict standards for hygiene and cleanliness at all tourist attractions in the country. Following initial testing, the program was rolled out in May and June this year for Phase 1 of Qatar’s reopening plan. Following review and continual improvement, it is now being extended to other sectors, such as restaurants and shopping malls.
The first stage of the program was aimed at protecting hospitality workers and guests by setting standards for sterilization and disinfection, which all hotel establishments must adhere to. The program complies with government guidelines on reducing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and further complements independent measures being undertaken by hotels. Hotels that meet these requirements are certified “Qatar Clean.” Since its introduction, nearly 100 hotels have been certified with more being reviewed.
Qatar is currently in the third phase of its four-phase reopening plan with hotel facilities, shopping malls and many of the country’s health clubs and salons now open for business, with precautions in place.
To obtain a “Qatar Clean” certification, hotels must adhere to the following:
- Each hotel facility must appoint a Qatar Clean Program Manager who will be responsible for overseeing employee training and overall compliance with program requirements.
- Hotels must sterilize their facilities daily, conduct frequent and thorough cleaning, use disinfectant in all rooms, air conditioning systems, equipment, water tanks, toilets, and ensure stringent sterilization of designated guest areas, especially reception halls and lobbies.
- The use of elevators by multiple guests at the same time will be prohibited, with a maximum capacity of 30 percent.
- In order to reduce contact with guests, hotels must adopt mobile or other contactless procedures for check-in and checkout, while optimizing spaces to maintain a distance of at least six feet between individuals.
- Hotels must carry out daily temperature checks on all employees at the start of their shifts, as well as on suppliers and guests. Anyone exhibiting symptoms must immediately be placed in isolation and the Ministry of Public Health contacted.
Joint committees from QNTC and Qatar Ministry of Public Health will continue to inspect hotels and their facilities to ensure program standards are being applied and adhered to, with penalties imposed for non-compliance.
The Qatar Clean program is part of an extensive safety program across Qatar to control the spread of COVID-19. The country has also introduced a track and trace app, Ehteraz, which is mandatory for all residents and citizens. The app uses a color system through its QR code functionality to identify users’ health status, notifying those who have come in close contact with anyone exposed to COVID-19. Other mandatory measures include wearing face masks and social distancing.
Passengers arriving at Hamad International Airport undergo thermal screening, temperature checks and a COVID-19 PCR test. To ensure the safety of passengers, the airport is also regularly sanitizing all surfaces and baggage.
Author: Matt Turner, Luxury Travel Advisor