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Tourism is one of the areas that was immediately affected by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), while the future in the medium and long term of the sector remains full of uncertainty.
As summer is approaching in the northern hemisphere and the majority of the world's population is subject to various forms of confinement, it is unclear what the traditional holiday season will be like at famous beach destinations.
Despite the containment measures, many Albanians flocked to the beaches on the first Sunday in May. Dozens of Golem citizens, Kavajë were seen on the shore enjoying the warm weather.
The Albanian authorities have developed a protocol to apply during the summer season in view of the pandemic.
According to the new draft policy of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health, which has been sent to the business community for consultation, companies will have to employ an anti-COVID-19 coordinator to oversee hygiene measures for the staff and ensure the disinfection of the facilities. Employees must wear masks and gloves at all times.
There will also be changes for those who visit the beach: they will have to undergo temperature checks and sign a form to declare whether or not they show symptoms of coronavirus, as well as indicate any contact they may have had with people infected with coronavirus in the last 14 days. They should also make a list of the places affected by the pandemic they have recently visited.
Masks, gloves and hand sanitizers will be available to tourists at all times. Likewise, the project stipulates that the umbrellas must be placed at least four meters apart and 10 meters from the shore. Coastguards will be tasked with controlling the distance between tourists.
In the pool area, reclining chairs and umbrellas must be two meters apart, while swimming, a distance of three meters must be respected.
In bars and restaurants, a table for four will have an area of 10 m² for each table, and customers will have to be one meter apart.
Self-service will not be allowed, and customers will be served by waiters wearing masks and gloves.
Businesses should display these new rules somewhere visible to the public, in both Albanian and English.
Despite the new and arduous procedures in the works, the Minister of Tourism and the Environment, Blendi Klosi, expressed optimism regarding the prospect of recovery of the local industry.
There are several reasons why Albanian tourism can be saved in the summer of 2020. About 80% of tourists come to Albania by land. Another advantage over other peripheral countries is the high number of small hotels. Greece is considering banning large hotels this summer, as they are very difficult to manage. The small hotels are manageable. Albania is a positive example of rapid response to the COVID-19 situation.
There are several reasons why Albanian tourism can be saved in the summer of 2020. About 80% of tourists come to Albania by land. Another advantage over other peripheral countries is the high number of small hotels. Greece is considering banning the opening of large hotels this summer as they are difficult to manage. Small hotels are controllable. Albania is a positive example of the rapid response to the COVID-19 situation.
With its Adriatic and Ionian coasts and its picturesque mountain ranges, Albania has a lot to offer during the summer season. Coastal businesses have already started advertising their offers, as have tour operators.
Remote beach – #Albania
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. . .
Credits: @nentor_oseku pic.twitter.com/HiHeXkRv4l
– Albania Holidays DMC (@albaniaholidays) May 4, 2020
Remote beach – Albania
All trips have secret destinations that the traveler does not know …
Credits: Nentor Oseku
😍 ALBANIA 😍 The Best Places To Visit
Plan your visit to Albania: find out where to go and what to do:
Best beaches: Ksamili islands, Crystal waters of Gjipe beach, Dhermi beach … Jala, Himara …
Ruins of ancient Roman basilica in Butrint… and many other places… pic.twitter.com/FcDPKiUAaQ
– Tea Tours (@ToursTea) May 5, 2020
😍 ALBANIA 😍: the best places to visit
Plan your visit to Albania, discover where to go and what to do:
Best beaches: Ksamili islands, crystal clear waters of Gjipe beach, Dhermi beach … Jala, Himara …
Ruins of the ancient Roman basilica in Butrint … and many other places.
The number of foreigners who visited Albania in 2019 increased by 8.1% compared to 2018, reaching a total of more than 6.4 million people.
“Immunity passports” and spacing of hammocks
Other beach destinations in Europe are also debating measures to manage beach visits.
The Greek authorities and the European Union are evaluating the use of an “immunity passport” / “health passport” or “risk-free certificate”.
This document would authorize people to travel within the European Union or to return to work on the condition that they can demonstrate their immunity against COVID-19.
However, the recent notice from the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that there is no evidence that those who have recovered from COVID-19, and therefore have antibodies, can prevent reinfection.
“People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice. The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission ”, the WHO warns.
“Those who assume they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health recommendations. The use of these certificates, therefore, may increase the risk that transmission will continue, “says the WHO.
In a region of Italy that lies right next to Albania, crossing the Otranto canal, another option is being considered. According to AFP:
In Porto Cesareo, a small seaside town nicknamed “the Caribbean” of Apulia, a private beach is trying out a set-up respecting social distancing rules with chairs and umbrellas placed 1.5 meters apart and ropes to mark out the spaces for future holiday makers.
On a private beach in Porto Cesáreo, a small coastal town known as “the Caribbean” of Apulia, an arrangement of chairs and umbrellas placed one and a half meters apart is being tested, respecting the rules of social distance, and ropes that they mark the space for future vacations.
On the private beach “Bacino Grande”, as confirmed by its owner, Fabrizio Marzano, they will focus on services adapted to their clients rather than trying to maximize the number of visitors as in previous years. Instead of lining up at the banned beach bar, patrons will be served pizzas, sandwiches, and drinks on their umbrellas.