TAKING it a notch higher with safety being the paramount importance, Penang’s Covid-19 safety accreditation programme has seen 17 tourism players go the extra length to follow added standard operating procedures (SOP).
State tourism, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin awarded the certificates to 13 hotels, three tourist attractions and a shopping mall.
“Penang is the first state to work with the Health Department and local authorities to come up with and implement the Covid-19 safety accreditation programme.
“This accreditation programme is in line with ongoing efforts of the state which emphasises the importance of security and cleanliness while restoring the tourism sector.
“This accreditation will be given to tourism industry players who have met and complied with guidelines and SOP on hygiene and safety set by state Health Department, Penang Island City Council, Seberang Prai City Council and Penang Global Tourism.
“The audit process will be continuous to ensure that all guidelines and SOP are complied with even after the accreditation.
“Applicants who successfully obtain this accreditation will be given an official logo to be displayed at their premises for promotional and marketing purposes.
“During these two weeks, the evaluation team found that all parties participating in this accreditation have complied with the set conditions and guidelines, ” he said at the certificate presentation ceremony at Gurney Plaza in George Town yesterday.
The safety accreditation programme comes with guidelines for shopping malls, hotels and tourist attractions.
Among the extra requirements include the need to sanitise high risk surfaces at least three times a day with bleach diluted one part with 49 parts of water.
Face masks for visitors and guests are not required, but encouraged, while employees must be provided with face masks.
Employees are required to have their body temperatures checked twice daily.
Third party associates doing work on the premises for longer than four hours must also have their temperatures taken twice.
Details on the added SOP are at www.penanglawancovid19.com
Yeoh said the effort needed to be continued and the support and cooperation of all parties involved was essential to educate and raise public awareness on the importance of preventive measures.
“We are proud to have introduced this accreditation for tourism players as we want to promote hygiene and safety protocols while we revive our tourism sector.
“We want to revive our economy and open our borders but public safety should not be compromised.
“We need to strike a balance between both – reviving the economy and ensuring the safety of our people.
“There is a mutual obligation not just for service providers but for travellers as well.
“In this recovery phase, apart from industry players, it is also important to seek the cooperation of all individuals in controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19, by complying with the prescribed SOP, ” he said.
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