While Hotel Council Aotearoa (HCA) awaits a response from the New Zealand Government to its formal request to legislate mandatory vaccination in the hotel/hospitality sector, an Auckland inner city hotel has introduced a vaccine mandate ahead of any government licence to do so.
Hotel Britomart general manager Clinton Farley said the hotel was taking the position to keep staff and guests safe by mandating vaccination across the entire team and will only take fully vaccinated guests from November.
The no vaccination – no entry policy also applies to the hotel’s sister property, The Landing, a luxury holiday accommodation in the Bay of Islands, which is also part of the vaccine mandate.
“We’re mandating that all our suppliers and contractors and visitors, whether they be guests or restaurant patrons, are also double dosed and able to provide evidence of that before setting foot on our property.”
Mr Farley said legal ramifications have been considered and the decision to introduce the mandate had not been taken lightly.
“Prior to arriving at the hotel we send out a number of communications, whether that be on our website or booking engines, and we also ask people to confirm that they have been double dosed vaccinated,” he said.
“If they arrive at the hotel or restaurant without evidence of such we will not be able to check them into the hotel or allow them to dine at our restaurant. If they can’t prove their vaccine status they will be turned away.”
HCA strategic director, James Doolan said many business owners do not want to carry the legal risk and are waiting on government advice.
“I’m hearing from members that they would like to introduce vaccine mandates but it’s important that the government takes the lead and passes legislation confirming vaccine mandates by hotels and other hospitality venues would be legal,” he said.
“Earlier on in the fight against Covid the government passed legislation confirming that the lockdowns were legal.
“I think it’s perfectly reasonable for hotels and hospitality venues to ask the government to pass similar legislation confirming that vaccine mandates are legal too.”
Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience.
Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.