Traveling safety is the major concern of anyone wanting to travel anywhere these days. Especially when visiting rural communities and staying anywhere as a homestay guest, it is understandable that there will be additional concerns over health and safety. Family hosts may not fully understand health and safety precautions, unlike in hotels or resorts, raising doubts.
CHN’s Rigorous Safety Guidelines and Training Programs
With this in mind, Community Homestay Network (CHN) has formulated, with their partners, rigorous safety guidelines and training programs to educate the communities in our network about COVID -19 and what precautions are needed to minimize the risks of spreading the virus, thus keeping guests and themselves safe.
The training covers not only a general understanding of the COVID-19 virus and how it is transmitted and controlled but also the precautions that need to be followed, providing guidance that ensures the safety of both guests and host families.
Sanitization Protocols: Keeping Guests and Host Families Safe
The training covers how to properly sanitize the rooms, dining, and common areas to ensure that the homes are clean and free from infection. CHN is also advising families on how to arrange their accommodation, keeping rooms separate from the main household for their guests.
As there are several community homestays close to the major cities in Nepal, they are easily accessible for weekend breaks and even day trips, with increasing numbers of local tourists interested to visit. The health and safety guidelines, procedures and a checklist helps the hosts ensure that they have taken everything into consideration, to assure that travelers can experience Nepal with local communities safely. We developed these guidelines with reference to the guidance from WHO and Nepal Tourism Board, and we shared them with homestays in the Community Homestay Network. View our health and safety guidelines here
Collaboration with Royal Mountain Travel and Traditional Comfort
Royal Mountain Travel has assisted with providing the logistics needed to provide training to the communities, providing staff to give training. Traditional Comfort Hotel in Kathmandu has been used as a training venue for training the trainers. Here they have practiced doing what is necessary to clean and sanitize rooms, as well as receiving training on the use of a cleaning and sanitation checklist.
Mentoring and Support from Microbiologist Dr. Shovita Shrestha Dhakal
Dr. Shovita Shrestha Dhakal, PhD(Microbiology) Microbiologist TU Teaching Hospital, is providing advice and support as a mentor on the health and safety guidelines and has trained the trainers. Planeterra has generously provided funding for sanitation equipment for the homestays in Panauti and Barauli. We provided items such as stands for hand sanitizers, disinfectant guns, glycerin, HM15, thermal guns, and supplies of sanitizer. Additionally, we supplied posters with guidelines to be displayed in homes and community halls.
Upcoming Training Plans for Communities
Following the training of trainers at the beginning of January 2021, training was carried out in Barauli and Panauti, with all the necessary equipment provided to ensure clean and safe accommodation. Further, training is planned soon for the communities at Nagarkot, Patlekhet, Illam, and Bardia.
By ensuring that community hosts and guides are aware of everything they need to do to try to keep their accommodation clean and safe, it is hoped that guests will feel assured that every precaution is being taken to keep them safe.