Tourist apartments and COVID-19

Tourist apartments must register customers and provide them with the necessary protection to prevent COVID infection

17 August 2020, Redaction

The Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (el Instituto para la Calidad Turística Española, ICTE), with the approval of the Spanish Ministry of Health, has developed a protocol for national tourist rentals, in order to prevent further coronavirus infections. To be precise, owners must adhere to the new normal rules, while registering travellers to facilitate their location in the event of an outbreak, as well as providing basic protective material such as gel, masks and gloves.

According to the protocol for tourist accommodation in Spain, which seeks to ensure the safety of residents, tourists, and workers in these establishments, and in which associations such as Fevitur and trade unions have collaborated, the registry of guests must be kept for at least 30 days. In this way, State Security Forces can obtain this data in order to locate individuals in the case of an outbreak of the virus.

Guests will have to register on arrival at all tourist accommodation facilities by verifying their identity, regardless of whether the occupants have already given their data via telematic means. In addition, if the property is located in a residential building, with common areas such as a doorway or stairs, it is necessary that the person in charge provides the clients with basic protection, such as gel, masks and gloves before they enter the property. Guests are obliged to use them.

Among the recommendations established by the protocol is that the keys to the property or the access cards should be previously disinfected, as well as maintaining a safe distance from the staff and encouraging payment by card or other electronic means. In the event that the client touches the POS device, the person in charge must disinfect it afterwards. 

The protocol also encourages those in charge of tourist accommodation to have a guide at the disposal of guests with advice on how to avoid coronavirus infection as much as possible, and establishes that the guide must be provided in at least one foreign language in addition to Spanish. In addition to this, it is recommended that tourist rental properties should be as clear and clutter free as possible (i.e. they should have minimal decoration, keeping carpets or other household textiles to a minimum) and that the rubbish bin should have a non-hand operation (for example, a pedal). 

Once clients leave, the text clearly states that cleaning and disinfection tasks should be carried out to the maximum level possible (including on textiles, door handles, drawer knobs, remote controls...), and it is necessary that workers who carry out the cleaning are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment. Cleaning may only be carried out when clients have left the flat. The owner of the holiday home must also have a specified protocol in the case that one of the occupants has the virus (confirmed case) or symptoms.

Although the protocol affects all tourist properties in Spain, both tourist homes that are sold by the room and those that do not have hired workers are not included these guidelines, although are strongly recommended to follow them in all cases.

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