Under strict protocols , cafes and restaurants resume their commercial activity with the change in the color of the traffic lights. The food and beverage sector was one of the first to receive a sanitary biosafety regulation from the National COE .
According to Ricardo Zambraño , Vice Minister of Tourism, a pilot plan was executed in Samborondón before the red light turned yellow, to measure the effectiveness of the established protocols and thus give a guarantee to the consumer.
“Food and drinks was the first protocol issued and approved by the national COE (May 8). Then the protocols for accommodation , tourist transport and travel agencies were approved . The last one that is in the study phase and to be approved is that of the industry of conventions, congresses and events ”, explains Zambrano.
The biosafety protocol consists of 22 pages. This document can be accessed through the website of the Ministry of Tourism , at the link ‘Single Window’.
In the health regulations , there are recommendations on how to proceed in the event of a suspected contagion, rules for waiters, cashiers, security guards, cleaning and disinfection of facilities. There are also reinforced hygiene standards for the handling of kitchen utensils, dishes, table linen, contact with suppliers and waste treatment.
The official explains that so far 4,150 people have been trained in online courses, which are still offered at a virtual training window through the MinTur portal .
“There were 19 online courses, each lasting 40 hours . We have the goal of 10,000 trainings through an agreement with the Fundación Telefónica, to use their online platform, “he adds.
For Patricio Velásquez , technical manager of Quito Tourism, restaurants and cafes represent 51% of all tourist service establishments in the Quito cadastre. So its revival was essential.
“The protocol established recommendations for workers from the time they leave their homes to their workplace,” explains Velásquez .
Among the suggestions they make, you should avoid wearing jewelry, take care of the distance with other people , maintain personal hygiene in details such as trimmed nails, clean clothes and collected hair, as well as care in daily commuting.
Velásquez adds that with the change of the traffic light color to yellow in Quito, they have noticed that people take advantage of the day that they can mobilize to look for typical food in the restaurants of the city.
“Interest in rural areas is gaining strength after long confinement. This is an opportunity for the 33 rural parishes of the Metropolitan District . They know that they must be strict in complying with the protocols, because if there is a regrowth, the victims will be themselves, ”he says.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), gastronomic tourism is one of the sectors that contributes the most to the tourism industry in the world. Indeed, more than a third of a tourist’s spending is dedicated to food, making local gastronomy one of the main reasons for traveling.
For Ricardo Zambrano, nature tourism will rebound. “It is time for chefs to take risks and show the national gastronomy in these places, to bet on the experience of eating in natural landscapes.”