The emergence of COVID-19 across the globe has created a new work health and safety risk that businesses need to manage. Rural Tours Ltd is following the latest Ministry of Health advice about preventing COVID-19 and to promote good hygiene practices at work.

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus.

Protect yourself and others:

Take some simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
  • Stay home if you're unwell.


Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:

  • before eating or handling food
  • after using the toilet
  • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
  • after caring for sick people.


For more information from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, please visit:



Why your hand washing technique is important

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands – did we mention the importance of washing your hands? Many germs can hang around on surfaces for almost up to a week. You may be surprised to hear that you should spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands (probably more time than you’re used to!) and yes, technique is important. There is a correct way to wash your hands to tackle those germs. Click here to see the World Health Organisation’s guidance on hand hygiene.

How can germs spread?

Public spaces

The more people there are together, the more germs spread. Here’s a few tips on what to do when you’re in a public space.

The power of touch - When you go to public spaces, use your knuckle to touch elevator buttons, light switches, credit card buttons and screens. Think about wearing nitrile or latex gloves when you go to the shops – at least on one hand to protect it from touching surfaces that are touched by many people. Oh and wash your hands immediately when you get home and sanitise as much as possible.

Masks - The main value of masks is that they keep you from touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wearing surgical masks will not protect you if someone who is infected directly coughs or sneezes on your face, but it will protect you from unconscious touching of nose or mouth. If you are elderly or have an underlying health condition then wearing a mask when out in public is good practice.

Putting in fuel - When you fill up your car, lift the fuel dispenser with a paper towel or wear a disposable glove. This is also good advice when touching credit card buttons or screens on fuel pumps. Some screens require direct skin contact to work, in which case use a knuckle rather than a fingertip. You’re less likely to touch your face with a knuckle than you are with a fingertip.

Disinfectant wipes - Use disinfectant wipes at stores wherever possible including wiping child seats and handling grocery carts. Hand wipes should contain 60% alcohol (of any type) to be effective. Tip! If alcohol and disinfectant wipes become unavailable, you can put the highest proof vodka you can purchase into a spray bottle and spray on any sort of tissue, towel or cloth to make your own disinfectant wipes.

Opening doors - Open doors in public places, especially rest rooms, with your closed fist or hip, rather than taking a door handle with your hand. If there is no other way to open the door, it’s good to have a disposable glove handy. After washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, dry your hands with paper towels and keep a towel in your hand to open the door to go out and then throw it away. Avoid public bathrooms (when possible) that use high powered heated forced air, as these create tiny droplets that can cover many surfaces. If you are carrying a virus and you don’t use adequate soap or wash for long enough and then dry your hands, these are widely dispersed by such hand drying devices. If there is an option between such devices and paper towels, always choose paper towels.

Greeting people

With so many cultural differences in greetings that vary from hugs to kisses, how do we greet people without spreading germs? It’s an opportunity to get creative and find new ways to greet one another without compromising our health. Try to limit handshakes, kisses and hugs and instead greet with an elbow bump, foot shake, a Namaste or respectful bow.

Inadequate protection

“Focus on your surroundings. When you come home from being in public places and before you touch things in your home, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Keep a bottle of hand sanitiser (bought or home made with vodka spray) at home, work and even in your car.” – Dr. Dwight McKee

If you get sick with anything that’s infectious, whether it’s a cold, influenza, or Covid -19 coronavirus, it’s vitally important to stay home and avoid exposing others as much as possible, unless hospitalisation is required for difficulty in breathing.

Bin those germs! Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and throw it away. Using your elbow contaminates the clothing or skin of your elbow which can be infectious for a week. Change your clothes regularly and wash them in hot water with soap.

For further information please check the Ministry of Health website



With New Zealand slowly getting back to a new form of normal, daily life will look a bit different.  This will also relate through to your hosting.  To make guests feel comfortable in your home it will be vital that a high standard of hygiene practices are continued (I am sure you are all already follow good practices), what we suggest is that there is some form of visual ques that you can do that will show guests that you are following the guidelines above and beyond the recommendations.  For example:

  • Signage
  • Offering hand sanitiser to guests, whether that be in room or communal areas
  • When preparing food making your guests aware of your hygiene practices eg washing hands, cleaning hard surfaces so that they see you doing it.
  • Distancing where possible, ie a seat apart from you and guests at the table or living areas, not allowing guests into your kitchen area or assisting with preparing food.
  • Coughing & sneezing into your elbow
  • Advising Rural Tours if you are unwell and we will find an alternative.

Common sense and excellent cleaning will be the most practical thing you can do to ensure the safety of your guests and your families within the home.

If you require any COVID-19 signage please advise and we can email copies to you.

Please note we strongly suggest that you download a QR code for your property that is accessible for guests.  You can access this at





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