Club thermometers, towel bench press: this is how the "new normal" plan for those most affected by distance
While we are leafing the daisy to count the days left to be able to return to normality, we are also seeing that what happens in other countries suggests that normality as such will not return in a long time, and in the meantime, we will have to move forward as we can, with a lot of health protection in mind to avoid possible contagions once we return to the streets, and with them, outbreaks that collapse the ICUs again.
Office workers who have already been commissioned to telework have it relatively easy to maintain their activity, but the owners of gyms, discos, bars, restaurants or airlines are the most affected by forced social distancing until a vaccine or uncertain group immunity arrives . With its activity in standby, they take advantage of the time to think about what measures to take when they raise the blind again.
Offer guarantees ... and regain confidence
One of the pre-confinement images that can generate the most impact with the assumed isolation is that of a disco on a Saturday morning, the antithesis to social distancing. For the nightlife employers, the priority objective will be to regain the trust of customers. Although the final measures will depend on the regulations imposed by Health when it allows them to reopen their premises, they are already considering some that they assume will arrive in complete safety.
Nightlife already includes measures such as taking the temperature to access the premises and assumes a reduced capacity as in China
For example, taking body temperature to all customers who are going to access the premises. They shuffle a maximum value of 37.3ºC due to the influence seen in China, but it will depend on the health authority. Any client who wants to enter and give a superior result, will have to stay out.
They also plan the chemical misting of the premises using products that comply with UNE standards, as well as the training of personnel in hygiene and prevention measures, and the placement of informative posters throughout the premises with recommendations in the same sense, according to Joaquín Boadas, general secretary of Spain Nightlife, has an organization to which clubs such as Hï, DC10 or Heart de Ibiza, Shôko and Gabana in Madrid or La3 in Valencia are attached. They also prepare a certificate to be placed on the web and the doors of the clubs that add to the fulfillment of these practices, an equivalent to the "Q quality" certificate of the tourism sector.
Certificate planned by the nightlife consortium.
As for the thorny issue of the capacity, the employers leave it to the authorities. "We do not set the capacity, it is up to the authorities. In China they have set it at 60% of the previous one, here we do not know where it will go and we have to wait for it to be pronounced," says Joaquín.
Who is proposing a specific capacity reduction is FNEID, the employers' association of gyms and sports facilities, which suggests 70% of the maximum figure that marks the activity license of each center. They also speak of separating the machines to ensure the distances of one and a half meters between people, even rendering some of them useless, as well as limiting the collective classes by increasing the safety distance to two meters.
In the locker room, another critical point, the reduction in capacity is expected to be greater, up to 50%, in addition to "recommending not using hair and hand dryers" and sealing the water sources, instead promoting the use of individual bottles. For swimming pools it is recommended to keep chlorination levels in the high band of the range established in sanitary regulations, and to increase the PH analysis of water and bacterial analyzes. The rest of the measures indicated by FNEID focus on reinforcing the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities, a critical point in an environment that is going to sweat.
In Hospitality of Spain they foresee a multitude of measures but in no case do they contemplate the bulkhead of the tables
A particularly important sector in Spain is that of bars and restaurants, which are also experiencing a catastrophic situation. Sources close to AMER (Madrid Association of Catering Companies), explain to us that "nobody has told us anything, there is no forecast of or when or how."
Assuming that until Health does not impose guidelines there will be no possibility of making firm decisions, they do explain some of the measures that this sector has on the table. "If we were to open in the summer campaign, we would make the most of the terraces as they are open-air spaces, and more friendly to overcome this crisis of confidence." "Trust" is the critical word. "There is talk of installing screens on the tables and maintaining a social distance of one and a half meters or two, but they are rumors, what we are saying to the authorities and the Government is that they listen to us and let us guide them on how we could do it. "
Italian restaurant with partitions installed, the solution you don't even want to hear about in Hospitality in Spain. Image: Scatti di Gusto.
However, the installation of the partitions is the most controversial topic. As explained by Hospitality of Spain, the state employers, to our colleagues in Direct to the Palate, the installation of said partitions is not contemplated, but the objective is to focus on separating some tables from others. As the nightlife employers, they also plan to launch a common quality certification seal for all associations. Among the measures envisaged is to sanitize bathrooms as much as possible, as often as possible, "high-risk areas".
A reduction in capacity of between 25% and 50% is considered
The forecast that AMER has on the table is 20% of closed premises in the sector, that is, 60,000 of the 300,000 hospitality establishments in Spain. Survival will depend on the liquidity available to each company, and on its relationship to the structure of expenses to continue to face without income, or for the reopening, with income presumably reduced. Another industry source explains that they are considering capacity reductions as something they can assume, but that only health regulations will figure at a specific level.
"We believe that the reduction will be 25% at best and 50% at worst, what we will focus on later is to make that experience the best possible for the client, if they have to come to eat or to take something with more people but being away, with masks ... Well, we will make an effort so that they continue to feel like coming, even with these measures ". Mention some ideas such as digital cards (to be consulted on each client's smartphone) or single-use to avoid having to pass the traditional cards from hand to hand.
The case of Singapore leaves a worrying antecedent: after a reopening with a strict protocol, they have closed again. "We want realistic measures that give confidence to customers and security to our establishments," say from Hospitality of Spain looking at Health. "But the bulkhead, we guarantee that no, whoever buys them will not put them, it has not been requested anywhere."
Cultural changes, not just inside planes
The capacity is something that airlines can also see reduced: some voices point to the possibility of removing the central seats in the rows of three, although there are still unknowns about logistics at the airport, where security control and boarding are areas high concentration and little space.
A source from the Spanish aviation industry explains that internally, de-escalation is being planned to start in June. "With 9/11 a new normality was created for civil aviation, with many more controls and restrictions, and we think that this will create a new-new-normality, but it does not depend on the Spanish industry, rather it is something international "
"9/11 brought a new normal to civil aviation, we believe that this can bring a new-new normal"
This worker explains that it is intended to promote that the passenger already arrives at the airport very prepared, making use of technology even, as with online check-ins, which perhaps could become mandatory to avoid check-in queues. "Other actions, such as taking temperature, we understand that you should not depend on the airlines, but rather focus on the security control of each airport, that many measures be centralized there." Although there are others that he believes the airlines will take on, such as providing hydroalcoholic gel to passengers.
The reduction of the capacity in the airplanes would have an immediate implication: the price of the tickets, something less propitious than ever in a context of economic recession and fall of the world-wide consumption. "At least we have one thing in favor: airplanes have HEPA filters and high-level air recirculation systems, I don't think there is any other means of transport that is so prepared against the spread of viruses, although what will be more important is the cultural change when it comes to understanding the relationship with others, the distance, the absence of physical contact, etc ".
AirEuropa sources point to measures, for the moment, such as the extreme cleaning of airplanes with hospital-grade products, the reduction of objects that can be handled in the cabin, such as magazines on board, the recommendation to prioritize online channels for procedures such as billing and check-in, and a revision of the protocols of the service on board to avoid risks of contagion in the delivery of products in hand.
AENA, the public company that manages Spanish airports, published this week a de-escalation plan in three phases: domestic flights, European flights and the rest of international flights. They also used the word recurrent when explaining that they intend to "build trust with airlines" and stimulate demand once the crisis begins to overcome. Now it remains to be seen if the hygiene and security measures also reach their security controls, one of the critical areas due to the human concentration generated in them.