Operators Reducing Safety Measures as Traveler Confidence Returns

As the C.D.C. continues to relax guidance, tours and activities operators have already been reducing Covid safety measures

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Temperature checks, providing hand sanitizer and new cleaning standards are gradually being phased out by tours and activities operators, Arival’s May Outlook for Tours, Activities & Attractions reveals.

The findings follow recent announcements that Walt Disney World and Universal Studios will discontinue guest temperature checks. Speaking at Arival’s Spring into Summer Forum, College Football Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin said they were considering similar steps as CDC guidance was updated.

Operator Covid-19 safety measures, 2021 vs 2020 Arival Ben Finch

The number of operators communicating the safety measures implemented on their website has also decreased when compared to 2020.

Arival’s survey also shows that operators have been resilient through the pandemic. Three in four operators say they “will survive no matter what”. Two in three are reinventing their business to come out stronger.

Arival received 1,350 responses in March and April to track the state of tour, activity and attraction operators globally.

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Risk of surface transmission low

Operators reducing safety measures as traveler confidence returns Arival Ben Finch
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its guidance on disinfection — Nino Maghradze / Unsplash

In April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully-vaccinated people can travel safely within the United States. 

The C.D.C. also said the risk of surface transmission of Covid-19 was low and changed its guidelines on disinfection.

When compared with 2020, 7% fewer operators are providing hand sanitizer, 9% fewer are still implementing strict cleaning regimes, and 5% fewer are asking staff to take temperature checks.

The number of operators with safety standards on their website has dropped by 8%.

Attractions more likely to retain measures

Operators reducing safety measures as traveler confidence returns Arival Ben Finch
Attractions are retaining mask wearing and social distancing — Tristin Zeman / Unsplash

While most operators are maintaining Covid safety measures, there is a clear distinction between the measures implemented by tours and activities, and by attractions.

Far more attractions are maintaining measures across the board than tours and activities operators.

These include having staff and guests wear masks, social distancing and reducing capacity.

Few operators are considering requiring a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination from their customers. Only 14% say they will ask for a vaccine card, while 13% will require a negative test.

However, there is speculation that some countries in Europe will require proof of vaccination, a negative test, or that a person has already had Covid before being able to access many services.

In the Czech Republic, these are already required to visit a hairdresser or beauty salon and will be necessary to visit restaurants’ gardens from 17 May.

Social distancing requirements are still in force in many European countries.

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