Dr Jerry Schwartz, owner of one of Australia’s most popular family resorts, Paradise Resort Gold Coast, says he will make vaccinations mandatory for hotel staff to ensure staff and guests – particularly children – are protected.
Dr Schwartz is the largest private owner of hotels in Australia and already his hotels that provide quarantine services for travellers require vaccination for staff members, but Paradise Resort Gold Coast will be the first non-quarantine hotel in the group to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for staff.
Dr Schwartz said that with so many unvaccinated children staying at the hotel it was essential for staff to be fully vaccinated.
He would like to see all staff fully vaccinated by the end of November so that they would be ready for the peak Christmas family holiday season. He would prefer an earlier date, but with many staff under 40, he was taking into account the restricted supplies of Pfizer.
“As both a medical doctor and a hotel owner, I believe that any face-to-face business, especially if it involves children, needs to have fully vaccinated staff,” said Dr Schwartz.
“The hotel industry has been devastated by COVID-19 and policies of governments, so it is essential we equip ourselves with the tools to drive a recovery once the country reaches 80% vaccination and travel returns to relative normality.
“However, we know that children under-12 cannot be vaccinated, and so to ensure the welfare of both our guests and our staff, we need to insist on mandatory vaccination, with the priority being for any staff who interact with guests, and then all staff working across the hotel.
“I have written to all staff at the hotel outlining the reasons for the mandatory vaccination and from initial feedback, we believe that most staff are in full agreement, with many vaccinated and others in the process of getting vaccinated. After the disruptions to employment over the past 18 months, most can understand the need to take this initiative.
“It’s a case of vaccinating staff or the hotel industry could perish.
“I am talking to all the management companies operating my other hotels so that we can ensure that vaccination is implemented as a matter of urgency, as it is essential we place the hotel industry on the best possible footing to recover.
Airlines and tour companies such as Qantas, Virgin and TTC have already announced that they will require vaccination for staff members and Dr Schwartz said he believed the hotel industry should follow suit.
“Given that we are a people-facing business which has a duty of care to ensure we eliminate risk for guests and provide a safe working environment. Not only do our guests have children aged under-12, so do a large number of our staff, and they are entitled to a safe workplace.”
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