Half of Iran’s hotels reopened after taking hit from coronavirus

May 12, 2020 - 18:11

TEHRAN – Some 50 percent of hotels across Iran have so far been reopened after the hospitality industry took a severe hit from coronavirus pandemic in both at the national and international levels.

“Some 50 percent of hotels across Iran have been reopened as of the beginning of the [Iranian] week [May 9] for business travelers,” Mehr quoted Jamshid Hamzehzadeh, the head of the Association of Iranian Hoteliers, as saying on Monday.

“The shutdown cost Iran’s hospitality industry 45 trillion rials (some $1.1 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) over the past three months,” he noted.

“We have not made an official announcement in this regard, but hotels in each province are reopening under their condition and coordination with local health departments.”

“Since business trips have commenced, if hotels are not opened, people may go to unauthorized centers, which may lead to harmful consequences,” he said.

“We are implementing the health protocols previously announced by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.”

Briefing on practical health policies carried out in hotels, Hamzehzadeh said “For example, we have declared that a hotel room is disinfected and remain empty after 48 hours of passenger use. Another issue that is important for us is the emphasis on employee health. Also, each passenger should pass through the diagnostic tunnel when entering a hotel.”

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry has declared new guidelines and instructions to ramp up the safety in particular for “emergency or work travels” in hotels, guest houses, eco-lodge unites, tourist destinations, transport facilities, recreational centers, and restaurants.

President Hassan Rouhani has said the country will be divided into three risk zones based on the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities. Rouhani said the Health Ministry would draw up a map of “white,” “yellow” and “red” risk zones in the country. In the white areas, religious sites, mosques, and holy shrines would be allowed to reopen and hold Friday prayers under the health guidelines issued to curtail the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 20, Iran lifted intercity travel bans days after President Hassan Rouhani unveiled a “Smart Social Distancing Initiative” as a new phase of measures to prevent the virus spread.

AFM/MG

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