COVID-19, the coronavirus strain that has caused a global lockdown, is changing how we do business. This is especially true for tourism, hospitality and retail, where engaging with many people risks spreading the virus. The future of these sectors depends on new hygiene standards to make them safe again – and to reassure consumers that they are safe.

To this end, CoronaSmart has launched a range of health and safety standards for four sectors: accommodation (e.g. hotels, lodges and B&Bs); business events; restaurants and food service; and tourism transport. Each standard addresses the risks specific to that industry.

“Being high-risk sectors that add a significant amount of value to the economy, it is critical that we give business owners the support and tools they need to move forward. Then, when it is safe to reopen, they can do so responsibly and with thorough precautions in place to limit, mitigate and stop the spread of the virus.”

Greg McManus, the founder of CoronaSmart, explains, “We developed these standards to proactively address the challenges that COVID-19 poses for these industries. Being high-risk sectors that add a significant amount of value to the economy, it is critical that we give business owners the support and tools they need to move forward. Then, when it is safe to reopen, they can do so responsibly and with thorough precautions in place to limit, mitigate and stop the spread of the virus.”

To encourage the adoption of CoronaSmart standards, McManus is making them available for free. You can download them from the company’s website: www.coronassmart.com

As well as being able to implement the standard, businesses can apply to add the CoronaSmart certification label to their marketing materials, thereby gaining exposure through the CoronaSmart online members directory. This will be promoted globally through various digital marketing channels, to help build a recognised and trusted network that end-users can turn to when seeking safe services. In the future, consumers will be far more cautious than they were in the ‘old’ world, and CoronaSmart can hopefully help to engender trust and peace of mind, particularly in tourism.

CoronaSmart members will also enjoy consultation services to help them implement and maintain the standards, and access to a supplier base for their equipment and PPE needs, staff training and HR support.

“I would also like to call on governments across southern Africa to support and recognise these standards, and to particularly recognise those businesses that are certified as compliant. Adoption and certification to the CoronaSmart system will help protect consumers, workers and tourists, and we are hopeful that this will lead to earlier reopening of these industries,” he adds.

“Adoption and certification to the CoronaSmart system will help protect consumers, workers and tourists, and we are hopeful that this will lead to earlier reopening of these industries.”

McManus cautions that while the standards incorporate those of the World Health Organization (WHO), National Government and international benchmarks, they cannot guarantee an establishment or operator will be risk-free – “Nothing can do that.” But by implementing the CoronaSmart standards, a business comprehensively improves their ability to prevent viral outbreaks and manages its performance within national guidelines.

“With over 20 years of experience creating standards and providing certification, our team is well-rehearsed on how to help businesses take the necessary steps to protect their staff and clients in the best manner possible. While COVID-19 is new, developing a strategy to overcome it is not. Our method is tried-and-tested, so we can give you reliability when you need it most,” adds McManus.

To find out more about CoronaSmart, please visit www.coronassmart.com

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