COVID-19 and Tourism: Action Plan for Dealing with COVID-19 in Tourists

By , 09 Jul 2020, 21:01 PM Travel
COVID-19 and Tourism: Action Plan for Dealing with COVID-19 in Tourists Illustration, www.aminess-campsite.com
July 9, 2020 - The Operational Headquarters for Monitoring the Epidemiological Situation in the Tourist Season has prepared an "Action Plan for monitoring and dealing with COVID-19 in tourists during their stay in Montenegro" as well as "Recommendations and instructions of the Institute of Public Health regarding the incidence of COVID-19," the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism announced.
 
In addition representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, members of the Operational Staff for monitoring the epidemiological situation in the tourist season include representatives of the Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Chamber of Commerce, National Tourism Organization, Health Insurance Fund, Insurance Supervision Agency and Administration for Inspection.
 
Upon entry into Montenegro, each passenger will be registered by reading a barcode on a mobile phone. Data can alternatively be taken at the border crossing via a form if passengers do not have a mobile phone or have not registered via the application.
 
Upon entering the country, each foreign citizen will be given a leaflet containing:
 
• recommendations and instructions of the Institute of Public Health regarding COVID-19; a suggested course of action in case of symptoms; telephone numbers of health institutions      to be contacted
• Instructions on the use of the IT application and the legal obligation to register a stay within 24 hours.
 
Hotels and other accommodation facilities are obliged to designate a person in charge of contacting the competent health center/epidemiologist to report a suspicious case and receive instructions on the necessary procedures following the provisional recommendations for action and implementation of protection measures against COVID - 19.
 
If a tourist during his stay in Montenegro gets symptoms of COVID-19 and is confirmed positive, the procedure is as follows:
 
a) Procedure in case of a SEVERE CLINICAL PICTURE in tourists
• In case of a severe clinical picture that requires the urgent attention of health services, patients are accommodated in the Clinical Center of Montenegro; General hospital Bar, Nikšić or Berane, depending on the geographical position of the tourist at the time of symptoms
• The patient is transported by the Institute of Emergency Medicine/health centers. The organization of transportation is the responsibility of the Crisis Medical Staff.
 
b) Procedure in case of a MILDER CLINICAL PICTURE 
• If a tourist is a hotel guest- positive asymptomatic cases and cases with a milder clinical picture are placed in a separate part of the hotel, where they remain in self-isolation under health and sanitary measures until leaving Montenegro, or going home if a domestic tourist.
• If a tourist is a guest of a small hotel or registered private accommodation - positive asymptomatic cases and cases with a milder clinical picture must remain in their room in self-isolation under the measures of health and sanitary supervision until leaving  Montenegro, or going home if a domestic tourist
• If the individual in question (foreign or Montenegrin citizen) is the owner of the facility - positive asymptomatic cases and cases with a milder clinical picture remain in their facilities in self-isolation while under health and sanitary measures or until leaving Montenegro if the individual in question is a foreign citizen
• In cases where tourists do not adhere to the prescribed self-isolation measures, they are sent to quarantine under commercial conditions.
 
Treatment of identified contacts with COVID-19 patients
a) Contact with foreign tourists 
• If a foreign tourist is in contact with a patient with COVID-19, he should be placed in self-isolation in his accommodation until leaving Montenegro:
• If a tourist is in a hotel, they must  be accommodated in a specially separated part of the hotel, and remain in self-isolation under health and sanitary supervision measures until leaving Montenegro;
• If he is in a small hotel or registered private accommodation he must stay in his room in self-isolation under the rules of health and sanitary supervision until leaving Montenegro;
• If the foreign citizen is the owner of the facility, he must remain in the facility in self-isolation while under health and sanitary supervision measures or until they leave Montenegro.
• In cases where foreign tourists do not adhere to the prescribed self-isolation measures, they are sent to quarantine under commercial conditions.
b) Contact with domestic tourists 
• If a local tourist is a confirmed contact of a COVID-19 patient, he must be placed in self-isolation in his accommodation or institutional quarantine if there are no conditions for self-isolation.
c) Contact with tourism employees
• If a foreign worker is an identified contact - the employer should provide self-isolation for the employed foreign worker or proceed to institutional quarantine if there are no conditions for self-isolation at the expense of the state.
• If a domestic worker is an identified contact of a patient with COVID-19, he must be placed in self-isolation in his accommodation or institutional quarantine if there are no conditions for self-isolation at the expense of the state.
 
 Addressing the issue of covering the costs of isolation and treatment
 
The state bears the costs of treatment, self-isolation, and quarantine for all tourists.
 
The Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund are obliged to prepare information on the payment method for medical expenses. For the costs of self-isolation and quarantine, the Government will allocate earmarked budget funds (Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism).
 
Safe transport of patients to their home countries
a) Contacts, patients with asymptomatic infection or mild clinical picture, who arrived in Montenegro by their own means of transportation, leave the country accompanied by the police to the border crossing.
b) Contacts, patients with asymptomatic infection or mild clinical picture, who arrived in Montenegro by other means of transport, leave the country either by:
• organizing their own transport to the country of origin;
• transportation organized by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and NTOCG to the country of origin with the assistance of the Ministry of Transport, Montenegro Airlines, the Army of Montenegro, private airlines, MIA (car, bus, charter flight, helicopter). Tourists bear transport costs.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH REGARDING COVID-19

Montenegrin and foreign citizens entering Montenegro are obliged to adhere to these recommendations and instructions for 14 days from the day of crossing the state border as follows:
 
• It is necessary to maintain physical distance from other people (minimum 2 meters) and maintain hand hygiene. When staying indoors in public spaces, it is recommended to wear masks, scarves, or shawls covering the nose and mouth, especially for people over the age of 65 or for people with chronic diseases.
• Wash your hands as often as possible with warm soapy water or use a hand sanitizer that should be rubbed well into your palms. Avoid touching face, mouth, nose, and eyes.
• Large groups and public gatherings should be avoided.
• During business meetings, communication should be made with as few people as possible, maintaining a physical distance (minimum 2 meters) and using disinfectants. It is recommended to avoid unnecessary meetings.
• It is recommended to use contactless payment cards or online services.
 
1) If you are staying in a hotel:
In the case of acute respiratory infection (cough, gout, fever, shortness of breath, loss of smell, and taste), you are obliged to stay in the room and contact the hotel reception, which further follows the protocol and recommendations of the Institute of Public Health.
 
2) If you are staying in private accommodation:
In the case of acute respiratory infection (cough, gout, fever, shortness of breath, loss of smell, and taste), you must stay in the room and contact the owner/manager of private accommodation who informs the competent health center.
 
3) If you are staying in your own accommodation:
In case of symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, gout, fever, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, loss of smell, and taste), you are obliged to stay in your accommodation and contact the competent health center.
 
• In case of sudden onset of severe, life-threatening symptoms, the individual is obliged to the emergency medical service.
 
More information on coronavirus disease and measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 is available on the IPH website https://www.ijzcg.me/. Montenegrin and foreign citizens can request additional information and clarifications on info number 1616.

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