Groups representing tour operators in the United States, Canada and Europe on Thursday unveiled Covid-19 health and sanitization guidelines, along with a seal of approval their members can use to show they are compliant.

Developed by the USTOA, the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA), the TourCare guidelines are based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Centre for Disease Control, the Public Health Agency of Canada and local governmental health authorities.

As with other guidelines being developed across the travel industry, the TourCare protocols call for staff training on sanitization, social distancing and the use of masks and hand sanitizer by staff and guests.

TourCare also calls on members to oversee the health and safety practices of hotels, restaurants and other suppliers to ensure they are in compliance with the guidelines and all local health rules.

"By their very nature, tour products are complex, involving many different variables that are under the watchful eye of the tour operator, yet not every element fully under their control," said a joint statement from USTOA president and CEO Terry Dale, ETOA CEO Tom Jenkins and CATO executive director Pierre LaPage.

"We felt that our members -- and the tour operator industry as a whole -- would benefit from one set of guidelines developed with their specific needs top of mind." 

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