Sharjah resumes desert activities with COVID-19 precautions

Sharjah resumes desert activities with COVID-19 precautions

In line with the efforts to resume economic activities in Sharjah, the government has announced the resumption of desert tours and other tourism-related activities in the emirate. As per an announcement made by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Sharjah tour operators can resume desert tours and other activities while adhering to COVID-19 precautionary measures and guidelines in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

With this decision, the Authority is aiming to resume tourism activities in the emirate at a normal pace.

According to SCTDA Chairman Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, desert tours have been resumed as part of the gradual return of all tourism activities in Sharjah. The decision has been taken by the authorities after consulting and coordinating with all relevant partners from both government and private sectors.

Al Midfa stated that the Authority is implementing a strict schedule under which it will conduct regular field visits to inspect all establishments and activities. These field visits will be carried out under the supervision of an integrated team of SCTDA inspectors which will ensure that entities are following the issued precautionary measures with the aim of limiting the spread of COVID-19.

In conclusion, he urged people to cooperate with the SCTDA by adhering to the precautionary guidelines that have been implemented for their safety, health, and security amid the pandemic crisis.

The SCTDA has launched a set of precautionary measures for desert tours (Safari) along with a guide for tour operators in Sharjah. These guides detail various precautionary measures that the companies and desert tour operators have to follow in order to constantly ensure and monitor people's compliance with health and safety guidelines and instructions.

For instance, according to the guidelines, food and beverages are not allowed inside the vehicle. It has been specified that instructions about safety measures must be provided separately in every vehicle. Operators have to ensure that the vehicles and public areas are comprehensively and thoroughly disinfected before every use.

According to the requirements specified during the tours, a number of passengers should not exceed the vehicle’s capacity and people have to maintain a distance of at least two metres from each other, Operators must ensure that signboards are placed around the vehicle urging passengers to follow health and safety measures and to remind them to avoid crowding or gathering in one area. It is also necessary for tour operators to provide a reservation system to passenger which will allow health authorities to collect information about passengers in case of tracing contacts if necessary. They are also required to adopt electronic payment methods to minimise personal contact.

The authority took the decision to resume tourism activities after a number of companies requested the government to implement the measures. The most important measure is to equip reception desks with plastic or glass partitions allowing minimal openings for accepting payment transactions such that it reduces personal contact. Regular sterilisation of the premises will also help in controlling the spread of the virus.


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