We, at Bicycle.MK, put the safety, health and security of travellers at high priority. We envision travel with safety and security procedures while providing an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveller across the journey, and in a manner that supports the livelihoods of local people by enabling sustainable economic growth, and provides nature-based development.
Cycling remain as most favourable activity and transport among a number of governments and by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of North Macedonia, especially in these times of pandemic. However we want to minimise any possibility of spreading SARS-CoV-2 or any other virus and disease on our tours. Many safety features are already included in our Standard Operational procedures, however the Coronavirus requests additional measures and further reassurance to travellers about the activities we take to prevent the spread of any disease. For this reason we have developed these disease prevention protocols, and in particular in light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
The following protocols has been made in accordance to The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Protocols For The New Normal and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) draft Adventure Travel Covid-19 Health And Safety Guidelines, and they take into account the Macedonian Governmental measures and recommendations for prevention of the spread of COVID-19; the World Health Organisation, the US’ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidelines.
As of 26 June 2020 North Macedonia's borders are open for all citizens, however for those coming from a COVID-19 high risk countries a test or a 14 day quarantine is required. Please check if your country is on this list with the appropriate Macedonian Embassy for your country.
We will update this protocol as new information arrives and the situation changes.
Disease prevention protocol for staff:
- Regular health checks for staff especially prior tours are recommended;
- Stay home policy for anyone displaying any symptoms as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines;
- Obligated 14 day quarantine for anyone that has been in contact or potentially exposed to SARS-CoV-2;
- No office rule / work from home (whenever possible) for non guiding activities;
- Maintaining physical distance and obligatory mask wearing (except during physical activities).
Disease prevention protocol during tours:
- Online payment, whenever possible is requested;
- Groups are kept in smaller numbers, up to 10 people;
- Groups with more than 10 people, whenever possible are considered as two groups, and treated as such;
- COVID-19 health check for guides and travellers prior tours are recommended;
- Choice of venues are made based on availability of open-air facilities;
- Check on COVID-19 prevention protocols with partners and suppliers is made prior tours and activities, for which a checklist is made to facilitate this;
- Open buffet meals and self-service meals are avoided;
- Choice of rural households is prioritised over restaurants;
- Checking in at accommodation is done ahead of arrival by e-mail and with a scanned copy of your passport (room changes are not made possible);
- Choice of sites and places to visit is on open-air locations;
- Guide replacement and/or traveller exclusion and enforcing stay home policy if displaying any symptoms as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines;
- Participants are screened for high temperature using a contactless thermometer on a daily basis, and/or prior activity;
- Maintaining physical distance at all times;
- Communication between guides and travellers is done via radio devices;
- Face protective masks are made available for every participant (if available FFP2/N95 masks);
- Face protective mask wearing recommended when not biking or hiking;
- Obligatory face protective mask wearing is when closed to other people and when residing in closed areas;
- There is no obligation to ware face protective masks while biking and/or hiking;
- Obligatory physical distancing between riders is minimum 2 meters, but recommended 20 meters to avoid cloud droplets;
- Face protective mask wearing is recommended when riding in urban areas;
- All equipment is personal and it is not intended to be exchanged among guides or travellers;
- Sanitising liquid is made available to the participants;
- Participants are requested to wash their hands with soap or the disinfectant regularly, in particular prior meals;
- Protocols and standards are shared and made known during every briefing of the activities and tour;
- COVID-19 prevention procedures are included in the briefing checklist;
- Participants are instructed to make basic fitting and adjustment to the (rented) bicycles on their own, without the need of the guide;
- Clean and disinfected bicycle tool set is made available for self servicing of the bicycles during tours;
- Routes are chosen in a manner that will minimise exposure to other people, and to traffic;
- Sites and locations where stopping are chosen on the basis of the size of the group, to be able to accommodate the number;
- Loading and unloading of luggage and equipment is best done by a designated person using face protective mask and gloves;
- External people should be considered as unfamiliar with COVID-19 prevention measures, and treated as such.
Equipment (bicycles, helmets, etc) cleaning and disinfection protocol:
- Equipment returned from rental is treated as contaminated material;
- Equipment is washed with soap and water after every use, where each piece is soaked in soap for at least 30 seconds prior rinsing;
- Fabric equipment, such as seat pads are machine washed after every use;
- Equipment is maintained always using gloves and face protective masks;
- Equipment is disinfected by spraying an alcohol based solution (minimum 70%, preferably 96%) at the point of delivery of the rented equipment;
- Tools for maintenance are sanitised regularly after use;
- The workshop is sanitised regularly after use.