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Standard Operating Protocols In The COVID-19 Era

Dear Customer,

Across Thomas Cook India & SOTC, we have spent the last 2 months talking to our customers to fully understand their concerns and priorities when it comes to travel in this, the aftermath of COVID-19.

The outcome, is a comprehensive program designed entirely with one purpose only – the health and safety of customers when they travel.

I am proud to present the Thomas Cook & SOTC Assured – Safe Travel Program in association with Apollo Clinics - the most respected name in the Indian healthcare sector, to jointly set the benchmark of customer safety for travel.

As part of the Assured Program, we have examined every customer touch point, right from enquiry via our websites or apps, interactions with our call centres, virtual visits via calls or video calls with our nearest branch – all to ensure contactless, safe interactions.

During the stages of our customers’ travel, they will find a host of measures put in place - across airports & airlines and then at every stage of their journey with our transport, hotel, restaurant and attractions partners.

Our intent is that our Assured Program, serve as a handy guide/reference point that would assist all our stakeholders in the Travel & Tourism Industry achieve a single common goal. Safe travel for all Indians.

Madhavan Menon
Chairman & Managing Director
Thomas Cook India Limited Group
  • Passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of return
  • Customer is expected to wear a face mask; if not, the same will be provided
  • Customer temperature check is done maintaining social distance
  • If customer body temperature is above pre-defined mark, he / she will not be allowed entry to the outlet
  • Customer will be requested to use the hand sanitizer at the entrance
  • The doors will be operated by the security/gatekeeper to avoid contact and ensure hygiene.
  • The customer is warmly welcomed with a “Namaste” post all checks. A handshake is not allowed
  • All staff to undergo mandatory health & safety (H&S) training
  • Only staff who have passed the online H&S test are permitted to work at office premises
  • Daily self declaration to be submitted by all employees before leaving for work
  • Health checks performed include:
  • a - Check of staff residence – must be in a green / safe zone
  • b - Only staff using a personal vehicle will be allowed; with apt social distancing maintained in vehicle
  • c - Mandatory staff self-assessment to be done on a daily basis via
  • Aarogya Setu app – which must indicate “safe” status
  • All staff must be wearing masks; gloves to be ideally won by customer facing staff, otherwise hand hygiene to be strictly followed
  • Sanitizer bottle is to be placed at each customer-facing desk
  • Strict social distancing norms to be followed in the outlet- between staff and customers
  • Fumigation treatment of entire office area-as a one-time activity, pre reopening. Usage of Viroff753 & Virex II 256 by a reputed vendor
  • Surface disinfection and cleaning- conducted on a daily basis
  • Usage of Dettol / RelyOn Virkon / DSC- disinfectant surface cleaner in prescribed form by a reputed vendor
  • WHO / ICMR Guidelines - Standards and chemical compositions to be ensured
  • Hand sanitizers to be placed at appropriate locations, including reception
  • Washrooms to be stocked with liquid soap and tissues
  • Adequate stock to be procured of hand sanitizer, disinfectants for office cleaning, tissue, liquid soap, masks, etc.
  • New seating plan to be followed basis social distancing norms - including dining areas
  • Health safety and security guidelines to be displayed in the office and strictly followed
  • Outlets to be reopened only post health / zone based clearances - checked and confirmed from the local authorities

  • Branch level & zone level H&S officers identified
  • Certification of safety officers on guidelines defined by the organization [including Tour Managers]

  • All staff need to score 100% on these online assessments before commencing daily duty
  • Quarterly refresher training & assessment for all staff
  • Training to be done for security and housekeeping staff
  • Each branch & region to have a safety officer
  • Safety officers need to ensure that the safety guidelines are followed
  • Safety quality check done on daily basis
  • WhatsApp group of safety officers to ensure any new update is passed on a real time basis
  • Training material finalisation as per Apollo Corporate Handbook for safety post the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Identification of safety officers (including tour manager group)
  • Safety officers training (1 session for all)
  • Safety officers to train zonal staff
  • Quarterly refreshers
  • Online assessment
  • All information (Itinerary, visa, booking form) provided to customer via digital platforms only. Paperless process.
  • Customer is advised to avoid re-visiting the outlet; instead to connect with executives on call / video chat
  • Customer receives booking confirmation via phone / e-mail within 24 hours
  • Customer is recommended to download the company’s Customer Service mobile app (CSE)
  • Documents check list for visa submission to be sent to customer via e-mail
  • A list of health safety guidelines to be sent to customer before visiting the
  • Consulates / processing centres for visas / biometrics / interviews
  • Customer is instructed to abide by the guidelines laid out at these places, strictly
  • Customer is recommended to send all the Visa documents via reputed Courier service only and avoid branch visit / manual physical contact
  • Payment to be done via e-payment as far as possible

  • Status of visa process like document verification, submission, etc. will be updated to customer on regular basis via SMS / e-mail
  • Customer can check the status on CSE mobile app
  • Customers to buy their foreign exchange online via website / app
  • Customer to be sent a payment link using which customer will make payment
  • Accordingly, cash / card will be delivered to customer’s address (card to be loaded once customer confirms receipt of the same)
  • Once customer’s visas are approved and payment is done, tour documents, hotel vouchers, air tickets, visa documents will be uploaded on the CSE app
  • Customer can have on-demand post booking support on voice / video call
  • Customer to complete web check-in and carry printed boarding card before leaving for the airport
  • Customer to wear mask and gloves
  • To arrive at airport at least 4 hours before the flight
  • Aarogya Setu app is mandatory to be showed at the airport
  • Customer takes the self-assessment test on the day of flying
  • Customer is recommended to follow all SOPs laid down by airport authorities from check-in counter to boarding gates and ensure social distancing throughout
  • Boarding to be followed as per the sequence announced by airline, maintaining social distancing
  • Once customer is inside the aircraft, he / she is recommended to follow the instructions and guidelines provided by flight attendants
  • Assured Program is enforced to ensure a common minimum adherence of H&S protocols across: transportation, attractions, restaurants & hotels
  • Regular cleaning / sanitisation of all common / frequently used surfaces using WHO recommended cleaning agents/compositions
  • All staff interfacing with customers to wear mask and gloves and maintain social distancing
  • Strict hygiene and safety protocols to be followed in dining areas, with adequate social distancing
  • Group tour customers will be received by tour manager (TM) / local representative outside destination airport
  • TM will take him / her to coach / vehicle for transfer to hotel
  • Baggage to be disinfected at the time of airport pickup
  • All coaches and transfers provided to customer to be thoroughly sanitized and cleaned- both exterior and interior – as per local H&S protocols
  • All the customers are to use hand sanitizer every time they step out of bus
  • Guest will be provided with sanitizer bottles and packet of tissue before boarding the coach
  • Gloves compulsory for drivers and those boarding luggage
  • All coach drivers to have COVID-19 free certificate displayed
  • Coach to also have infrared thermometer for temperature checks
  • All the coach drivers to be well informed about Indian Embassy and COVID-19 diagnosis centres at each location
  • Coach drivers to be well equipped with personal health Insurance too

  • Please note: All individual / FIT / ad hoc travellers being received by taxis / mini vans etc. to follow similar protocols
  • Mandatory temperature check before entering the hotel premises
  • Strict social distancing norms at hotels and restaurants
  • Mandatory hand sanitization at hotels and restaurants
  • In case of porterage, porters to wear hand gloves while carrying bags
  • Staff to follow in-house hygiene procedures and protocols of the respective country
  • In-house cleaning protocols to be followed by hotels
  • Disinfecting to be done of floors, lobby, stairs and toilets on regular intervals
  • Baggage of each customer to be disinfected at entrance
  • Contactless key cards / electronic keys / sanitised keys
  • Suggest hotels and restaurants to use disposable cutlery or ensure high standards of cleaning
  • Restaurants to cater to one group at a time
  • Packed dinner to be provided for customers who remain in the coach
  • Restaurant must have H&S certificate from local authorities
  • 300 ml water bottles to be provided. Warm drinking water to be made available
  • Restaurants to operate at half capacity - to ensure social distancing
  • All touch points like washroom knobs to be regularly sanitised
  • All attractions that customer visits are selected by Thomas Cook / SOTC only if they have strict health safety and security guidelines with certification from local authorities
  • All respective SOPs to be obtained in advance as a part of itinerary
  • Fast-track tickets to be provided for customised travellers to avoid standing in queue and to maintain social distancing
  • All the cruises SOPs must be obtained by Thomas Cook & SOTC in advance and ensure strict health safety measures – and have apt certification
  • Guidelines to be followed by customer strictly and checked by TM (for group tours)
  • Before the travel begins, customer is required to submit a doctor / medical practitioner
  • ‘FIT TO TRAVEL’ certificate to Thomas Cook or SOTC and is recommended to be carried on tour
  • At any given point of time while interacting with Thomas Cook & SOTC staff or fellow travellers, customer is expected to wear face mask and carry sanitizer bottle on tour
  • Required to maintain strict social distancing inside Thomas Cook & SOTC outlets, on tour with fellow travellers and other foreign citizens on foreign land
  • Customer is recommended to read the airport and destination country guidelines in detail before leaving home and follow the guidelines strictly
  • Thomas Cook & SOTC to share pre-departure video that contains necessary information regarding guidelines, preventive measures and SOP which is supposed to be watched and carefully followed
  • Travel insurance (at least 2 copies) to be carried by each customer
  • Certification to be obtained per trip – for health and insurance.
  • Both to be carried at all times.
  • In case required by local authorities, quarantine on arrival to be ensured
  • Each TM to carry contact list of Indian Embassy and local approved medical facilities in each destination being visited
  • Regular check of customers and partners / suppliers to ensure
  • H&S guidelines are being followed