The NSW Government’s policy change to make vaccination compulsory for all staff working in quarantine hotels has been applauded by a national accommodation tourism body. TAA has also called for all states to immediately follow suit.
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO Michael Johnson said the change comes as true hotel occupancy rates in Sydney hover around the two percent mark, this figure does not include quarantine figures.
A recent update to a NSW Public Health Order mandated all staff in quarantine hotels must be vaccinated, with at least with one injection by today (July 6, 2021).
Mr Johnson said: “Vaccination has previously been available to quarantine hotel staff, but it has not been mandatory.
“Today’s new order makes vaccination mandatory and mitigates another element of risk from the quarantine program. With the National Cabinet announcement last Friday of a quarantine hotel program review, all states and territories should implement a similar order of mandatory vaccination for quarantine hotel workers if it is not in place already.”
Mr Johnson also pointed out that quarantine business is the only thing keeping the struggling Sydney hotel market operating.
He said: “Sydney hotels are currently operating at 20 percent occupancy, but that figure is misleading because the majority of guests are quarantined travellers.
“This figure will be halved again after July 14, when the cap for international arrivals drops from 3,000 arrivals per week to 1500 per week.”
“Under the current lockdown most other Sydney hotels are closed or operating at less than 2 percent occupancy, with most staff stood down,” he said.
“The ones that have managed to stay open have seen a 98 percent drop in revenue compared to this time last month.
“TAA is still in communication with the state government for extra support for these hotels.”