STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR COVID -19
These Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been designed to meet the requirements of the Tanzanian Government and the World Health Organization official advice, while allowing the company to operate as a provider of safari camps to the tourist industry. The goal of this document is to allow Tortilis Camps guests and staff to enjoy maximum protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also assisting the Tanzanian government to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Tortilis Camps recognizes its duty to inform its booking partners of all applicable Tanzanian rules and guidelines, and to inform its guests and staff of all relevant rules, procedures and practices.
1. Designated COVID-19 Liaison Officer:Tortilis Camps will appoint a COVID-19 Liaison Officer for each of the camps from which they operate. The designated person will act as key point of contact with the Tanzanian Government. This liaison officer will also be responsible for the points listed below:
- to keep informed and up-to-date of all Tanzanian Government requirements, protocols, preventative measures, policies and procedures in respect of COVID-19
- to keep informed as to the names and locations of all designated approved hospitals, medical clinics and mobile clinics in Tanzania for the testing and treatment of COVID-19
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all hygiene and sanitizing protocols for the camp at which he/she is based
- procedures as appropriate for the camp at which he/she is based
- camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all physical distancing requirements for the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures relevant to Tortilis Camps guests for the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures relevant to Tortilis Camps staff for the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) relevant to Tortilis Camps guests for the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) relevant to Tortilis Camps staff for the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for dealing with any guest with symptoms of COVID-19, or suspected of having COVID-19
- any staff member with symptoms of COVID-19, or suspected of having COVID-19
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all health records for Tortilis Camps guests at the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all health records for Tortilis Camps staff members at the camp at which he/she is based
- to develop, maintain and monitor records of all cleaning and sanitizing records for the camp at which he/she is based
- to ensure adequacy of stocks of all PPE materials for guests and staff at all times for the camp at which he/she is based
- to ensure that all guests are fully aware of all COVID-19 procedures and are provided with sufficient information in respect of such procedures applicable at the camp
- to ensure that all staff are fully trained in and aware of all COVID-19 procedures applicable at the camp and are provided with sufficient information in respect of such procedures; to ensure that all training is regularly updated and that retraining is carried out where necessary
- to liaise with any Government departments or ministries or other external body as necessary, in respect of their requirements
- to ensure that any notices required by the Tanzanian Government are displayed correctly in the necessary places, in particular that these provide contact details of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the MoHCDGEC & PORALG
2. Guests’ Medical Declaration Form:All guests will be required by Tortilis Camps to complete a mandatory Medical Declaration Form. Such a form must be completed for each individual guest and this will be provided electronically to each guest by our Tortilis Camps Health and Safety Department, one month prior to the guest’s arrival in Tanzania. The form must be completed and signed. It will include the following information for each guest:
- Name, nationality and ID or passport number
- Proof of the guest’s travel insurance, and details of the policy number and details of the guest’s insurer (including contact details)
- Name and contact details of guest’s next of kin or of a friend who is not travelling with the guest on the current trip to Tanzania
- Details of the guest’s travel history (other than the current trip) within the month prior to their arrival in Tanzania
- Details of current trip (prior to start of Tortilis Camps trip and any subsequent destinations) for the purposes of any subsequent necessary track and tracing
- Description of status of the guest’s general health, including the guest’s current medication, and any chronic or other medical conditions suffered by the guest
- Description of the guest’s general fitness level, including their ‘smoker status,’ either past or present
- Details of any physical disability or restrictions that apply to the guest
- Any symptoms displayed by the guest, either of COVID-19 or other condition, in the 30 days prior to their arrival in Tanzania
- Any history of COVID-19, or its symptoms, at any time prior to the current trip
- A sign-off by the guest in respect of their COVID-19 disclosure
3.Temperature Monitoring of Guests and Staff:Temperatures of all guests will be taken on arrival at the camp, at the start of their Tortilis Camps stay. Temperatures of guests will then be taken each day after breakfast, for the duration of the guest’s stay, by the designated camp staff member. On every occasion, a non-contact thermometer must be used and the temperature must be recorded. Any temperature of 37.5 C or above must be acted upon. For members of staff, temperatures must be taken each time they begin a shift or finish a shift: a non-contact thermometer must be used and all temperatures will be recorded. If a guest or staff member registers a temperature of 37.5 C or above, the procedures described in section 15, below, must be adhered to without delay.
4. Staff Training:Tortilis Camps will provide comprehensive training for all its staff in respect of COVID-19, its effects and the measures necessary to identify it, restrict and prevent its spread and deal with it when it arises. Tortilis Camps will also provide further training, as and when necessary, as the COVID-19 pandemic situation develops.. In addition, extra andspecific training will be provided for certain staff. This will depend on the type of work they perform, but the areas of COVID-19 training listed below are appropriate to all Tortilis Camps staff:
- how the virus is spread and how to minimize the risks of it spreading
- how long the virus can survive on various surfaces
- how to identify the symptoms of the virus
- how to operate safely in the camp
- how and when to use PPE (see section 5, below)
- how and when to wash hands and sanitize (see section 6, below)
- physical distancing to protect guests and fellow staff members
- how to correctly change into and out of uniforms
- how to understand the importance of temperature testing
5. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):Guests must wear a mask at all times, with the following exceptions:
- when in their own tent bedroom
- when eating and drinking at the camp
6. Sanitizing & Hygiene Practices:Proper frequent handwashing and sanitizing, together with the thorough and regular/frequent sanitizing of surfaces, are hugely important in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This applies both to guests and staff members. Any staff who use surfaces such as desks, computers, counters etc are responsible for sanitizing these every 15 minutes, or each time after any use by any other person. 6.1. Hands. Guests must sanitize their hands each time they arrive at the camp. Tortilis Camps will be responsible for providing appropriate sanitizer for guests at all its camps. Individual sanitizer bottles will be provided to every guest and must be used after they have handled any surface or handled cash, luggage, food and drink. 6.2. Luggage Any staff handling luggage should sanitize their hands immediately before and after doing so. 6.3. Handling cash. Guests must, where possible, make payments without using cash. If this is not possible, then any guest or staff member handling cash must sanitize their hands immediately after doing so. 6.4. Minimizing contact with surfaces. Objects which are non-essential should be removed from locations, thus minimizing contact by guests and staff. Such items might be magazines, books and newspapers, games and ‘softs’ such as cushions, rugs, blankets etc. If these are then provided on request by guests, they should be sanitized both before and after use by the guest.
7. Physical Distancing & Capacity controls:Physical Distancing measures play a vital part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Tortilis Camps strives to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between persons in public and back-of-house areas, though 2 meters is preferable. For guests, this minimum distance should be maintained throughout their stay. Staff must be vigilant in communal camp spaces such as the dining area and bar area, where guests may gather together, to ensure that a build-up of people in an enclosed space does not threaten the requirements of physical distancing measures. It may be necessary on occasion to temporarily restrict access of some guests to these areas to achieve this.
8. FoodAll surfaces in the guest dining-room must be properly cleaned and sanitized both before and after each meal service. Buffet service meals will no longer be provided at the camp and there will be no guest self-service of any items in the dining-room. Any previously self-service drinks/coffee machines will be manned by camp staff. Menu choices will be communicated only verbally, with no printed menus provided to guests. Any non-essential items should be removed from the dining-room, to avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces(tablecloths are one such example). Food should be pre-portioned onto plates for each individual guest and served onto a side-table more than two meters from the table at which the guest is seated; once the food has been placed onto the side-table, the server should invite the guest to go to the side-table to collect his/her food. Any additional items such as sauces, sugar, butter etc should also be pre-portioned wherever possible; guests should not be handling pre-sealed packages, for example. The same principles will apply to any bush lunch or bush dinner requested by the guests. Where service to the guests in their own tent is required, disposable plates and utensils should be used. Any tray or food container should be left outside the tent door and the guest then informed of the food’s arrival. The server should stand back two meters until the guest exits his/her tent to retrieve the food. Guests should be provided with a waste bag and asked to dispose of all waste (including the disposable plates, utensils etc) in the bag and leave it outside the tent when finished. All packed lunches prepared by the camp should be individually portioned, packaged in a bag or box and individually designated for each guest. There will be no lunch items prepared for communal sharing, as was done previously. Crockery and utensils should be of the disposable type and disposed of into appropriate bags after use.
9. Kitchen hygieneParticular attention must be paid to the sanitizing of surfaces and equipment used in the camp kitchen area. Frequent and regular sanitizing of equipment must be carried out, with attention given to high-contact areas such as buttons, handles, knobs and dials. Equipment such as pans, utensils etc must be frequently hot-washed. High-temperature wash cycles should be used for guest crockery/cutlery, as well as for kitchen equipment. Where packaged food items are not used in full, the external surfaces should always be wiped after each use, before they are returned to their place of storage. Staffing levels in the kitchen must be adapted to the space available, with levels reduced where necessary to allow physical distances to be maintained. If menu choices are reduced and simplified, this may help to facilitate this. The number of suppliers used by the kitchen could also be reduced, thus minimizing contact with external persons. Open windows or an efficient air-conditioning system should be used to maximise ventilation of the kitchen area.
10. Accommodation units (tents)To reduce the risk of contamination, the frequency of room cleaning and changing of linen should be reduced where guests are staying more than one night at the camp. Any turndown service previously offered will be discontinued. Any non-essential items such as extra blankets, throws, cushions, rugs and ornaments should be removed from the tents to reduce contact surface areas. Other items such as magazines, books etc should also be removed. All tents should be provided with hand sanitizers, which should be replaced with new ones before the arrival of the next set of guests. Although the frequency of tent-cleaning will reduce during guest stays, the intensity of the cleaning schedule will increase to meet the COVID-19 situation. Staff training must take place to ensure that staff are fully aware of the new, higher standards. Disposable gloves and aprons must be used by cleaning staff and these items must be properly sanitized between rooms. Where possible, tent openings should be opened during cleaning. For cleaning schedules, attention must be paid to all surfaces and an approved disinfectant should be employed. The schedule should also include light switches, telephones, toilet-roll holders, soap anddisinfectant dispensers. Any receptacles for drinking provided in the tents for use by guests should be of the disposable type and should be replaced between each group of guests. Cleaning schedules should also include the thorough disinfecting of all bathroom surfaces and any high-traffic areas of walls close to beds, seats and door areas. Where occupancy levels allow it, tent allocations should be organized to leave tents empty for more than one day if possible: this will allow time for decontamination between guest stays. (The virus cannot survive for long on many surfaces). Any cleaning trolleys used by staff should themselves be sanitized after each use. All equipment such as cloths, mops etc should be sanitized after each room clean by dipping them in sanitizing solution. Cloths should be washed on a hot cycle and cloths and mops sanitized at the end of each day, for a minimum of 30 minutes. Any linen and towels should be carefully removed and bagged to be taken to the camp laundry.
11. Camp staff areasCamp staff records must be accurately maintained, including details of the staff member’s address, contact details of next-of-kin and relevant medical history. Areas of the camp used only by staff must be subject to the sanitizing and physical distancing rules which apply to public areas. Therefore, cleaning schedules in staff-only areas should be reviewed and higher standards applied than previously, with increased frequency of sanitizing of surfaces. Staff kitchen areas, dining areas and bathrooms must be treated for hygiene purposes in the same way as if they were guest areas (see above). Physical distancing rules apply to staff as well as guests and recommended distances adhered to. Any staff deemed to be at higher risk should be assigned to tasks/work areas which have less contact with guests/other staff. Any staff returning to camp after an absence must have their temperatures checked and any luggage or other possessions sanitized. Staff uniforms must be properly laundered in the camp laundry, at high temperature where possible. Hand sanitizer must be provided at all time for use by staff in staff areas and staff must be encouraged to wash their hands frequently, whether they are on or off shift.
12. Receipt of goods at campAny goods, supplies or equipment delivered to the camp represent a risk to camp safety. The number of suppliers delivering to the camp should be kept to a minimum. Where goods need unloading from a vehicle, it is preferable that camp staff perform this task. They will be required to wear appropriate PPE, including shoe protection, gumboots gowns/boilersuits.Any goods entering the camp must be fully sanitized before being put into storage areas within the camp. Spray sanitizers are to be used for this purpose. The above arrangements should be communicated to any suppliers who are due to make deliveries.
13. Camp laundrySpecial COVID-19 training must be given to any camp staff who work in the laundry. Any staff member entering the laundry must wear appropriate PPE, namely mask, gloves and boilersuits. Hands must be washed and sanitized. Each morning, before first use of the laundry, all surfaces must be sanitized and this includes any equipment. Any linen bags must be emptied carefully and clean linen may only be placed in to clean linen bags, never into the bags in which the dirty linen arrived.Washing must be carried out at high temperature using appropriate approved detergents. Clean linen and dirty linen should always be kept separate from each other and staff who have handled dirty linen must remove potentially contaminated PPE and wash and sanitize their hands prior to handling clean linen. The area used for unloading and washing should be designated as a PPE area, while any area used for handling of clean linen is designated as a non-PPE area. Floor markings should be used to differentiate between the two, and no PPE should be worn in the non-PPE area to avoid cross-contamination. At the end of each day, the laundry area must be sanitized, including the floor, and any equipment such as mops used in this cleaning must also be sanitized.
14. Office Staff:In general, the requirements of this Standard Operating Procedure will apply to office-based staff. Wherever it is practicable, office-based staff will be encouraged to work at home. Tortilis Camps will put measures in place within the office to limit the number of staff working in the office at any one time, through staff rotas which stagger the staff shifts. Physical distancing measures will also be put in place to separate staff, with Perspex screens installed wherever possible between workstations. Desks, phones, computers, headsets and other equipment will be dedicated to each individual, with no sharing or hot-desking. Any superfluous surfaces should be taped off or removed, to minimize contact. All surfaces will be regularly sanitized. Staff will be encouraged to sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day and sanitizer will be provided by Tortilis Camps to enable this. The office will be ventilated as much as possible, either by open windows or air-conditioning.
15. Guests or Staff Who Display COVID-19 Symptoms:For the areas in which Tortilis Camps operates, contact details of designated approved hospitals, medical clinics, mobile clinics, doctors, testing centres and pharmacies in Tanzania for the testing and treatment of COVID-19 should be clearly displayed in all camps operated by Tortilis Camps. All staff should be made aware of these notices during their training. Also as part of their training, all Tortilis Camps staff should be familiarized with the procedures to follow if a guest or colleague displays COVID-19 symptoms. However, the COVID-19 Liaison Officer should be designated at all times to be responsible for coordinating and managing Tortilis Camps response to any guest or staff member who exhibits symptoms or records a high temperature, or of course a positive test result. A test should be carried out immediately for any guest or staff member displaying symptoms. This then allows the Tortilis Camps operation to proceed safely as soon as possible. 15.1 Guests displaying symptoms on arrival, but before pick- up/check in: Any guest displaying symptoms on arrival should be requested to return home and followtheir own country’s advice when they do so. If symptoms on arrival are severe, however, a doctor should be consulted without delay. Tortilis Camps will assist in facilitating the guest’s return home. In the event that a return home is not possible, the guest must be isolated in a COVID-19 isolation unit or designated COVID-19 hotel room. Any vehicle used in the transport of any such guest must be thoroughly deep-cleaned after use. 15.2 Monitoring of clients with symptoms: Any guest with COVID-19 symptoms should, wherever possible, be isolated in a single-occupancy room with a private bathroom and attended to by designated staff wearing full PPE (eye protectors/visors, gowns and disposable, single-use gloves which must be disposed of after each contact.) Any non-essential items should be removed from the isolation room, to minimize contact. The guest will not be allowed to leave the room, and meals will be served in the room. In the event that the guest’s symptoms are severe, get worse or last for more than a day, a doctor should be consulted. Depending on the doctor’s assessment, the guest will either be sent for a COVID-19 test, recommended to continue the period of isolation, or sent to be admitted to a hospital.Any vehicle in which the guest has travelled must be thoroughly deep-cleaned and decontaminated. If Tortilis Camps is notified through track and tracing that a past guest has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, then rooms or other areas used by that guest must be decontaminated. Any vehicle which has been used to transport a guest who has shown symptoms or been confirmed as having had COVID-19 can, if possible, be left unused for between 5 and 7 days before being deep-cleaned and decontaminated. The vehicle should not be accessed by anyone during that period. All waste materials which have been used in taking care of, serving (with drinks, meals etc) or cleaning areas used by those who have shown symptoms must be disposed of in biohazard disposal bags or containers. These must also be used for the disposal of all PPE used by either staff or guests. Any staff or fellow travelers who have been in contact with any guest who has tested positive for COVID-19 must themselves self-isolate for 14 days either at home or in a designated establishment. The required procedure for dealing with any guest displaying COVID-19 symptoms can be shown as follows: 15.3 Dealing with Staff in the COVID-19 Era: All staff should be tested both for COVID-19 and antibodies before they return to work, if possible. Any staff member testing positive must self-isolate for 14 days before they can return to work (see diagram, below). This self-isolation should take place at home. The COVID-19 Liaison Officer should monitor the progress of the staff member who is self-isolating, on a regular basis. The COVID-19 Liaison Officer, or senior person on duty is responsible for dealing with any staff member displaying symptoms. No staff member displaying symptoms will be allowed to start a shift, and ideally should not be allowed to enter the workplace. The diagram below demonstrates the process for dealing with staff members displaying symptoms. Where testing is available, this should be carried out. If any staff member tests positive, all staff who have been on the same shift as that staff member must self-isolate for 14 days. If testing is widely available, then all staff should ideally be tested. Any staff who test negative, or who have successfully self-isolated for 14 days, may return to work. The Tortilis Camps COVID-19 Liaison Officer must carry out an investigation into the compliance and procedures, to identify whether these have in any way been deficient in respect of the returning employee’s working environment. This investigation must be documented, and any recommendations must be acted upon without delay. The required procedure for dealing with any staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms can be shown as follows:
16. Safari Vehicles (where tours have been booked directly with Tortilis Camps):Certain procedures and practices apply specifically to any vehicles used by Tortilis Camps, whether for safari trips or for transfers to or from airports. These procedures and practices are in addition to the general ones specified elsewhere in this document: please pay particular attention to Section 17, Vehicle Cleaning. All vehicles must be fully sanitized before each trip, to include seats, handles, door locks, windows, floor, roof, sockets, seat belts and headrests. Additionally, in-vehicle equipment such as binoculars, guidebooks, dining utensils etc. should also be sanitized. Throughout the duration of the trip, door handles and other frequently touched surfaces should be regularly and frequently wiped throughout the day. Only the driver-guide is authorized to sanitize the vehicle and this must be done before use and every time the vehicle returns to the lodge or camp. Travelling with open windows, where this is safe, is to be encouraged. While at the airport or airstrip, our driver guides will wear a face mask and gloves, disposing of the gloves when entering the vehicle. They will also require guests’ permission before assisting with their luggage. Guests should be each issued with their own binoculars and drinking vessels and these should not be shared. Guests should be encouraged to enter and exit vehicles one at a time, avoiding contact with seat backs, headrests etc. Disposable headrest covers should be replaced after each trip. Driver-guides should avoid turning and shouting in the direction of guests. Where a tour is booked through a tour operator (i.e not through Tortilis Camps), the responsibility for the hygiene of the vehicle remains with that tour operator.
17. Vehicle cleaning:Special attention must be paid to the cleaning of vehicles, as guests spend much time in close contact with each other and the vehicles contain many surfaces with which both guests and staff come into close contact. The following procedures should be followed:
- Any unnecessary objects should be removed from the vehicles, to lessen the number of surfaces with which guests and staff might make contact. (Examples might be books, magazines, games etc)
- Hand sanitizer should be available at all times for guests to use frequently when returning to the vehicle after meal stops, visits to viewpoints, visitor attractions etc
- Each guest should be provided with their own water bottle, binoculars, pen and paper, snacks etc for their exclusive use. (Sharing should be avoided.)
- Each vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every evening, paying particular attention to door handles and other high-contact areas.
- No access should be allowed to the vehicles by unauthorized personnel (eg, airport porters, hotel or camp staff)
- Any hotel or camp staff helping with the guests’ luggage should use sanitizer before handling it (this should always be observed by the driver)
- At the end of each safari trip, each vehicle will be deep-cleaned, by staff wearing appropriate PPE. Any removable items should be removed from the vehicle, cleaned and then put back