A four-stage Healthy Tourism Certification has been initiated by Turkey as the country seeks to attract foreign tourists from this summer once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The four main pillars in the certification initiative cover health and safety of passengers and employees, precautions at tourist facilities and transportation.

Under the proposals, passengers will not be allowed to enter airports without facemasks and they will be subject to thermal camera and  body temperature measurements at the entrance to terminal buildings.

Processes will need to be implemented by hotels covering food and drink facilities, the implementation and control of measures such as social distancing, contact and isolation “which are required to control the spread of pandemic within the personnel working at such facilities”.

Measures and regulations for air, land and sea travel include “safe distance standards”.

Hospitality staff will be trained in procedures such as hygiene and sanitation.

The Turkish tourism and culture ministry wants to measure to be applicable “as of the summer season of 2020”.

Culture and tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: “This certificate programme demonstrates that Turkey will take a pioneering role in terms of setting the direction for the normalisation of tourism.

“Global quarantine measures, which have been taken due to Covid-19, causing unique developments all around the world, and today these measures are getting more flexible.

“The tourism sector itself has a vital role in terms of returning to normal processes.

“The importance of caring for our guests in our culture, leads us to be ready for the transition to healthy tourism before everyone.

“Our certification programme shall ensure that our guests in Turkey are going to make their holidays safely and hygienicly and feel comfortable during their visit.

“Our programme covers preventive and protective steps including air, marine and land transportation, arrival ports, all facilities providing a holiday experience, health condition of employees in the industry, and tourists themselves.

“We will encourage all of our transportation and accommodation facilities to take all precautions for a healthy holiday through obtaining the certificate.”

He added: “We have completed pandemic protocols and certification protocols issued separately in terms of airports, domestic airlines, highways, and tourism facilities as of May 4, 2020.

“We are also planning to start the implementation of the certification process for hotels as of May.

“We will start listing the facilities, obtaining such certificate, as of June 1, 2020, through all channels including the website of our ministry.

“We, as Republic of Turkey, are acting with a sense of responsibility in order to ensure both our citizens and our guests, arriving to our country, to feel comfortable during their visit.”