Face Mask Ordinance:
Recently (January 29, 2021), a Federal ordinance was passed requiring face masks to be worn on public transportation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fort Sumter Tours and the National Park Service request that all of our guests comply with the federal ordinance in the spirit of cooperation and safety. Federal Mask Register Notice (January 29, 2021)
At Fort Sumter Tours, taking care of our team members and visitors is of paramount importance to us and has been our company motto for many years – Safety, Service & Sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to elevate our standards to an even higher level with new protocols for the current circumstances. To ensure we provide you with the safest experience, we have made several changes to best serve you during this time – Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park (press release) .
PREPARE FACILITIES FOR RESUMPTION OF SERVICE
- We have established robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols prior to resumption of service
- These protocols include cleaning and sanitizing guest facilities and employee workspaces, especially high-traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces during operation of tours.
- We have hand sanitizer stations in boarding areas and on the vessels.
- We are purchasing and keeping an adequate supply of personal protective equipment or other medical supplies for the staff.
- We have reorganized and initially reduce seating to 150 people per boat to encourage social distancing. We have a seating plan to use on the Lowcountry and the Carolina. (The Governor of SC has suggested guidelines of no more than 50% seating capacity for restaurants. We are suggesting 150 as a conservative starting point which is less than 40% of The Spirit of Carolina COI U.S. Coast Guard capacity for the vessel. The 150 limit is less than 30% of the COI U.S. Coast Guard capacity for the Lowcountry.
- We are restricting the number of individuals in common areas, elevators etc. This is done via verbal instruction, signage and announcements.
- In cooperation with local NPS staff, we have established flow of traffic in boarding, disembarking and common areas to reduce close interactions. We are using verbal direction, signage and ground markers.
- We are propping open internal doors to avoid additional touch areas where feasible.
- We will prohibit visitors to staff and restrict vendors to those that are necessary for safe operation of the vessel and only allow contractors who follow safe practices wearing PPE and practicing social distancing
Daily Cleaning Checklist and Protocol for Fort Sumter Tour Boats
Upon arriving to the boat in the morning, all crew members are having their temperature checked. After the crew is checked and considered in a normal temperature range PPE, gloves and masks is distributed among the crew. The crew are then proceeding to disinfect all the following surfaces:
- Doors and door handles
- Bathroom counters
- Bathroom sinks
- Bathroom toilets
- Bathroom hand towel and toilet paper dispensers
- Tables and chairs
- Snack bar counters
- Elevator doors
- Elevator interior, including control panel
- Gangway and lift rails
- Water fountain
While underway, the crew are monitoring each deck to encourage social distancing. If a problem occurs the crew will inform the captain and ask him to make an announcement to remind visitors to practice social distancing for the safety of all passengers. When we dock at Fort Sumter we initiate morning disinfecting protocol listed above. Upon return to Liberty Square, we will implement morning disinfecting protocol while off-loading and prior to the loading the next trip.
Whether you are planning a trip to the Charleston area or are a resident joining us for a visit, Fort Sumter Tours looks forward to welcoming you to the Charleston area. Should you have any questions or concerns ahead of your visit, please contact us at 843-722-2628 or visit the National Park Service public health update page.