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Standard Operating Procedures for The Hospitality Enterprises During The Covid-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic instigated lock downs in almost all countries, resulting in the halting of travel which brought the entire world to a standstill. Globally, countries are struggling to counter the adverse impact of this pandemic on people’s livelihoods. The tourism industry is undoubtedly one of the worst affected of all major economic sectors.

In Uganda, as a major sector of the economy, the tourism industry contributed US$1.6Bn in foreign exchange earnings in 2019, provided direct and indirect employment opportunities and has a high linkage factor supporting multiple sectors of the economy.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the loss of jobs, financial stress to the enterprises in terms of capital repayments and meeting obligations including security, utility bills, taxes and other fees. The closure of the businesses also resulted in the deterioration of properties and spoilage of stocks many establishments had kept for the business operations.

Government acknowledges these challenges and the implications on the growth of the sector. In response, the Ministry has consulted widely on the need for, and development of business continuity and sustainability plan to address some of the challenges. The three pronged plan focuses on action areas, including first - the health and safety plan, second - the financial recovery plan, and thirdly - the enhanced destination marketing.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, governments are making eff orts to normalize the people’s livelihoods across the world by lifting travel restrictions and instituting health and safety guidelines for the business operations. In Uganda, His Excellency the President announced the reopening of transport and hospitality services which are key components of the tourism value chain.

As we unveil the Standard Operating Procedures for the hospitality sector as part of the Health and Safety plan of the enterprises, we hope to restore the confidence of the guests and travelers through Health and Safety protocols designed to reduce risks in each step of the tourism value chain.

I urge all the hospitality enterprises and visitors to these establishments to adhere to these guidelines in order to maintain a safe environment and enjoy the traditional hospitality of Uganda.

Let’s keep safe as we offer the best hospitality in the Pearl of Africa.

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