Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) announced the first guideline for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the travel industry on May 14, following lifting of the state of emergency declaration for 39 prefectures.
In principle, the guideline calls for avoidance of contacts between staff and customers and among customers as much as possible, the limited number of visitors, wearing masks, sanitizer stations, air ventilation in street shops and education of precautions in traveling for customers.
For street shops, consultation via e-mail or phone, online application, booking to visit and wearing masks are recommended to customers. To reduce touching as many points as possible, cashless payments should be encouraged. For droplet precaution, the space between staff and a customer on a counter must be partitioned with acrylic boards or transparent plastic sheets.
Additionally, more thorough cleaning is required in a shop, especially toilets, which are deemed as higher-infection risk space.
For business operations, travel agents must ask FIT customers to make sure whether or not local travel services provide right precautions, when they purchase single items. For free plan or dynamic package products, suppliers are limited to those who provide right precautions.
For package tours, order-made tours and arranged tours, travel agents should select destinations depending on local travel restrictions or infection situations and take into more serious consideration selection of travel suppliers, judgement of performing a tour, travel itinerary to avoid congestion and health managements for staff and customers.