Standard Operating Procedures for COVID-19

These Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been designed to comply with the instructions issued by the Tanzanian Government and the World Health Organization, while the company carries out its day-to-day operations as a provider of safari and other trips. The objective of these SOPs is to allow Hello Africa Safaris guests and staff to enjoy maximum protection during the time of the COVID-19 period, while also helping Tanzania to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hello Africa Safaris acknowledges that it has a duty to communicate the applicable Tanzanian regulations to its booking agencies, and to remind both its staff and guests of all relevant protective and preventative practices.

1. Designated COVID-19 Liaison Officer
Hello Africa Safaris  will appoint a COVID-19 Liaison Officer, based at the company’s Head Office. This designated person will be the point of contact with the relevant Tanzanian Government Ministry. In addition, this officer will have the following responsibilities:

1. to keep up-to-date with all Tanzanian Government requirements, protocols, preventative measures, policies and procedures in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic
2. to keep up-to-date as to the identity and location of all designated approved hospitals, medical clinics and mobile clinics in Tanzania for the testing and treatment of COVID-19
3. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all sanitizing and hygiene procedures for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
4. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor any special sanitizing and cleaning procedures as appropriate
5. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all limits to capacity for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
6. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all physical/social distancing requirements for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
7. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures relevant to Hello Africa Safaris guests for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
8. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures relevant to Hello Africa Safaris staff for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
9. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) relevant to Hello Africa Safaris guests for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
10. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) relevant to Hello Africa Safaris staff for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
11. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for dealing with guests exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or suspected of having COVID-19
12. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all COVID-19 procedures for dealing with staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or suspected of having COVID-19
13. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all health records for Hello Africa Safaris guests
15. to develop, maintain, implement and monitor all health records for Hello Africa Safaris staff
16. to develop, maintain and monitor records of all cleaning and sanitizing records for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
17. to ensure adequacy of stocks of all PPE materials for guests and staff at all times for each company location and vehicle in which the company operates
18. to ensure that all guests are fully aware of all COVID-19 procedures and are provided with sufficient information in respect of such procedures
19. to ensure that all staff are fully trained in and aware of all COVID-19 procedures and are provided with sufficient information in respect of such procedures; to ensure that all training is regularly updated and that retraining is carried out where necessary
20. to liaise with any external body, including Government departments or ministries as necessary, in respect of their requirements
21. to ensure that all notices as required by the Tanzanian Government are correctly displayed in the necessary places, in particular with contact details of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the MoHCDGEC & PORALG

2. Guests’ Medical Declaration Form
All guests will be required by Hello Africa Safaris to complete a compulsory Medical Declaration Form. A form must be completed for each individual guest and this will be sent to each guest by our Health and Safety Department, one month prior to the guest’s arrival in Tanzania. The form will be completed and signed and will include the following information for each guest:

1. Name, nationality and ID or passport number
2. Proof of travel insurance, with policy number and details of insurer (including contact details)
3. Name and contact details of next of kin or friend who is not travelling with you to Tanzania
4. Details of guest’s travel history (other than the current trip) within the month prior to arrival in Tanzania
5. Details of current trip (prior to start of Hello Africa Safaris trip and any subsequent destinations) for the purposes of track and tracing, should it become necessary
6. Description of guest’s general health, including any current medication, and any chronic or other medical conditions
7. Description of guest’s general fitness level, including ‘smoker status’ past and present
8. Details of any physical disability or restrictions
9. Any symptoms, either indicative of COVID-19 or other condition, in the 30 days prior to arrival in Tanzania
10. Any history of COVID-19, or its symptoms, at any time prior to current trip
11. A sign-off by the guest in respect of their COVID-19 disclosure

3. Temperature Monitoring of Guests and Staff
Temperatures of all guests will be taken on arrival, at the start of their Hello Africa Safaris trip. (Depending on the method and place of arrival, this might be at the airport, or hotel, or other appropriate location.) Temperatures of guests will then be taken each day after breakfast, for the duration of the guest’s stay, by the driver-guide. On each occasion, a non-contact thermometer will be used and the temperature will be recorded. Any temperature of 37.5 C or above requires action. For staff, temperatures will be taken each time they begin a shift or finish a shift: a non-contact thermometer will be used and all temperatures will be recorded.

In the event that a guest or staff member registers a temperature of 37.5 C or above, the procedures described in section 9, below, must be followed immediately.

4. Staff Training
Hello Africa Safaris is committed to providing comprehensive training for all its staff in respect of COVID-19, its effects and the measures necessary to detect it, prevent its spread and deal with it whenever it arises. Hello Africa Safaris is also committed to provide further training, as and when necessary, as the COVID-19 situation develops and evolves. Additional, specific training may be required for certain staff depending on the type of work they perform or the locations in which they work, but the following general areas of COVID-19 training are appropriate to all Hello Africa Safaris staff:

1. how the virus is spread and how to minimize the risks of it doing so
2. how long it can survive on various surfaces
3. how to identify its symptoms
4. how to operate safely in the workplace
5. how and when to correctly use PPE
6. how and when to wash hands and sanitize (see section 6, below)
7. physical distancing to protect guests and co-workers
8. how to change into and out of uniforms
9. how to be aware of the importance of temperature testing

5. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Guests must wear a mask at all times, with the following exceptions:
1. when in their own bedroom at their accommodation when eating and drinking
2. Hello Africa Safaris will carry a stock of spare masks, to provide to guests if they do not have their own. Each guest will be given three approved cloth masks per trip, free of charge. Additional masks can be purchased by guests, if required. Masks of the disposable variety must be properly disposed of in biohazard containers. They must be replaced after each meal.

Staff must wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking. Hello Africa Safaris will be responsible for providing an adequate supply of masks, either of the disposable variety or approved cloth masks, with a minimum of three cloth masks (if used) for each staff member. This allows the staff member to wear a mask, have another mask being laundered and the third one as a spare one ready for the following working day. For certain specific tasks, gloves may be required: separate advice will be provided on this. The disposal of all PPE must be carried out in compliance with all relevant Tanzanian Health and Safety regulations.

6. Sanitizing & Hygiene Practices
Proper frequent handwashing and sanitizing, together with the thorough and regular/frequent sanitizing of surfaces, are hugely important in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This applies both to guests and staff. Staff members who use surfaces such as desks, computers, counters etc. are responsible for sanitizing these every 15 minutes, or each time after their use by another person.

6.1. Hands.
Guests will be required to sanitize their hands on arrival at any establishment – such as accommodation – or on boarding any vehicle. Hello Africa Safaris will be responsible for providing appropriate sanitizer for guests at all its locations and vehicles. Individual bottles of sanitizer will be provided to each guest and should be used after they have handled any surface or handled cash, luggage, food and drink.

6.2. Luggage.
Staff handling luggage should sanitize their hands immediately before and after doing so.

6.3. Handling cash.
Wherever possible, guests should make payments without using cash. If this is unavoidable, then any guest or staff member handling cash should sanitize their hands immediately afterwards.

6.4. Minimizing contact with surfaces.
Wherever possible, objects which are non-essential should be removed from locations and vehicles to minimize contact by guests and staff. Examples of these might be magazines, books and newspapers, games and ‘softs’ such as cushions, rugs, blankets etc. Where these are then provided on request by guests, they should be sanitized both before and after use by the guest.

7. Physical Distancing & Capacity controls
Physical Distancing measures play a vital part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID- 19. Hello Africa Safaris strives to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between persons in public and back- of-house areas, though 2 meters is preferable. For guests, this minimum distance should be maintained in all arrival and departure areas, at picnic sites, park entrances, game drives, shops, viewpoints and at attractions such as the Olduvai Gorge Centre. Staff should also maintain the recommended distance at these places, but also in the Hello Africa Safaris Head Office, vehicle workshop and other work areas.

With respect to safari vehicles, family groups or small groups of friends travelling together can share one vehicle.

Staff must be vigilant at areas where crowds may gather such as visitor attractions, viewpoints, village tours or restaurants and ensure that a build-up of people in an enclosed space does not threaten the requirements of physical distancing measures. It may be necessary on occasion to temporarily restrict access of guests to such places to achieve this.

8. Vehicle Cleaning
Special attention must be paid to safari vehicles, as guests spend much time in close contact with each other and the vehicles contain many surfaces with which both guests and staff come into close contact. The following procedures should be followed:

Any unnecessary objects should be removed from the vehicles, to lessen the number of surfaces with which guests and staff might make contact. (Examples might be books, magazines, games etc)
Hand sanitizer should be available at all times for guests to use frequently when returning to the vehicle after meal stops, visits to viewpoints, visitor attractions etc
Each guest should be provided with their own water bottle, binoculars, pen and paper, snacks etc for their exclusive use. (Sharing should be avoided.)
Each vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every evening, paying particular attention to door handles and other high-contact areas.
No access should be allowed to the vehicles by unauthorized personnel (eg, airport porters, hotel or camp staff)
Any hotel or camp staff helping with the guests’ luggage should use sanitizer before handling it (this should always be observed by the Hello Africa Safaris driver)
At the end of each safari trip, each vehicle should be deep-cleaned, by Hello Africa Safaris staff wearing appropriate PPE. Any removable items should be removed from the vehicle, cleaned and then put back

9. Office Staff
In general, the requirements of this Standard Operating Procedure will apply to office-based staff.
Wherever it is practicable, office-based staff will be encouraged to work at home. Hello Africa Safaris will put measures in place within the office to limit the number of staff working in the office at anyone time, through staff rotas which stagger the staff shifts. Physical distancing measures will also be put in place to separate staff, with Perspex screens installed wherever possible between workstations. Desks, phones, computers, headsets and other equipment will be dedicated to each individual, with no sharing or hot-desking.

Any superfluous surfaces should be taped off or removed, to minimize contact. All surfaces will be regularly sanitized.

Staff will be encouraged to sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day and sanitizer will be provided by Hello Africa Safaris to enable this.

The office will be ventilated as much as possible, either by open windows or air- conditioning.

10. Guests or Staff Who Display COVID-19 Symptoms
For the areas in which Hello Africa Safaris operates, contact details of designated approved hospitals, medical clinics, mobile clinics, doctors, testing centres and pharmacies in Tanzania for the testing and treatment of COVID-19 should be clearly displayed in all locations and vehicles operated by Hello Africa Safaris. All staff should be made aware of these during their training. Also as part of their training, all Hello Africa Safaris staff should be made familiar with basic procedures to follow in the event of a guest or colleague displaying COVID-19 symptoms. However, the COVID-19 Liaison Officer should be designated at all times to be responsible for coordinating and managing Hello Africa Safaris response to any guest or staff member who displays symptoms or registers a high temperature, or indeed a positive test result.

A test should be carried out without delay for any guest or staff member exhibiting symptoms. This then allows the Hello Africa Safaris operation to continue safely as soon as possible.

10.1 Guests displaying symptoms on arrival, but before pick-up/check in:
Any guest displaying symptoms on arrival should be requested to return home and follow their own country’s advice when they do so. If symptoms on arrival are severe, however, a doctor should be consulted without delay.

Hello Africa Safaris will assist in facilitating the guest’s return home.

In the event that a return home is not possible, the guest must be isolated in a COVID-19 isolation unit or designated COVID-19 hotel room.

Any vehicle used in the transport of any such guest must be thoroughly deep-cleaned after use.

10.2 Monitoring of clients with symptoms:
Any guest with COVID-19 symptoms should, wherever possible, be isolated in a single- occupancy room with a private bathroom and attended to by designated staff wearing full PPE (eye protectors/visors, gowns and disposable, single-use gloves which must be disposed of after each contact.) Any non-essential items should be removed from the isolation room, to minimize contact.

The guest will not be allowed to leave the room, and meals will be served in the room. In the vent that the guest’s symptoms are severe, get worse or last for more than a day, a doctor should be consulted.

Depending on the doctor’s assessment, the guest will either be sent for a COVID-19 test, recommended to continue the period of isolation, or sent to be admitted to a hospital.

Any vehicle in which the guest has travelled must be deep-cleaned and decontaminated.

If Hello Africa Safaris is notified through tracing that a past guest has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, then vehicles or other areas used by that guest must be decontaminated.

Any vehicle which has been used to transport a guest who has shown symptoms or been confirmed as having had COVID-19 can, if possible, be left unused for between 5 and 7 days before being deep-cleaned and decontaminated. The vehicle should not be accessed by anyone during that period.

All waste materials which have been used in taking care of, serving (with drinks, meals etc) or cleaning areas used by those who have shown symptoms must be disposed of in biohazard disposal bags or containers. These must also be used for the disposal of all PPE used by either staff or guests.

Any staff or fellow travelers who have been in contact with any guest who has tested positive for COVID-19 must themselves self-isolate for 14 days either at home or in a designated establishment.

10.3 Dealing with Staff in the COVID-19 Era:
All staff should be tested both for COVID-19 and antibodies before they return to work, if possible. Any staff member testing positive must self-isolate for 14 days before they can return to work (see diagram, below). This self-isolation should take place at home. The COVID-19 Liaison Officer should monitor the progress of the staff member who is self- isolating, on a regular basis.

The COVID-19 Liaison Officer, or senior person on duty is responsible for dealing with any staff member displaying symptoms. No staff member displaying symptoms will be allowed to start a shift, and ideally should not be allowed to enter the workplace. The diagram below demonstrates the process for dealing with staff members displaying symptoms. Where testing is available, this should be carried out.

If any staff member tests positive, all staff who have been on the same shift as that staff member must self-isolate for 14 days. If testing is widely available, then all staff should ideally be tested. Any staff who test negative, or who have successfully self-isolated for 14 days, may return to work.

The COVID-19 Hello Africa Safaris Liaison Officer must carry out an investigation into the compliance and procedures, to identify whether these have in any way been deficient in respect of the returning employee’s working environment. This investigation must be documented, and any recommendations must be acted upon without delay.

11. Safari Vehicles
Certain procedures and practices apply specifically to any vehicles used by Hello Africa Safaris, whether for safari trips or for transfers to or from airports or for example, trips to or from Mount Kilimanjaro. These procedures and practices are in addition to the general ones specified elsewhere in this document: please pay particular attention to Section 7, Vehicle Cleaning.

All vehicles must be fully sanitized before each trip, to include seats, handles, door locks, windows, floor, roof, sockets, seat belts and headrests. Additionally, in-vehicle equipment such as binoculars, guidebooks, dining utensils etc. should also be sanitized.

Throughout the duration of the trip, door handles and other frequently touched surfaces should be regularly and frequently wiped throughout the day.

Only the Hello Africa Safaris driver-guide is authorized to sanitize the vehicle and this must be done before use and every time the vehicle returns to the lodge or camp. Travelling with open windows, where this is safe, is to be encouraged.

While at the airport or airstrip, our driver guides will wear a face mask and gloves, disposing of the gloves when entering the vehicle. They will also require guests’ permission before assisting with their luggage.

Guests should be each issued with their own binoculars and drinking vessels and these should not be shared. Guest should be encouraged to enter and exit vehicles one at a time, avoiding contact with seat backs, headrests etc. Disposable headrest covers should be replaced after each trip.

Driver-guides should avoid turning and shouting in the directions of guests.

12. Mountain Climbing Operators
The following procedures apply to Hello Africa Safaris’s climbing trips, in addition to the general SOPs where appropriate.

1. All mountain climbing equipment must be sanitized or disinfected before the climb begins
2. All mountain crew members must wash their hands using running water and soap, or hand sanitizers, before climbing.
3. Approved disinfectants must be used to clean all equipment and food packing materials
4. All fresh food should be cleaned and packed under hygienic conditions.
5. All mountain crew should maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between themselves and their guests
6. All mountain crew should be temperature-screened before entering any National Park. Where temperature exceeds normal body temperature (37.5 C) they must seek medical advice
7. Weighing scales should be frequently disinfected with approved disinfectant to prevent contaminations
8. All mountain crew should ensure that toilet bowls and basins are cleaned regularly with approved disinfectant solutions.
9. Where applicable, paper towels and sanitary bins for safe disposal shall be made available for guests and staff.