Aussie hotelier Dr Jerry Schwartz is making vaccinations mandatory for hotel staff at Paradise Resort Gold Coast to ensure employees and guests – particularly children – are protected from COVID-19.
Schwartz is the largest private owner of hotels in Australia, and his properties that provide quarantine services for travellers require vaccination for staff members.
However, Paradise Resort will be the first non-quarantine hotel in the group to mandate COVID vaccinations for staff.
Schwartz said that with so many unvaccinated children staying at the property, it was essential for staff to be fully vaccinated.
The hotelier is keen to see all staff at Paradise Resort be fully vaccinated by the end of November so that they can be ready for the peak Christmas family holiday season.
Schwartz noted that while he would prefer an earlier date, he was taking into account the restricted supplies of Pfizer, given many staff at the resort are under 40 years of age.
“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,” he said.
“The hotel industry has been devastated by COVID and policies of governments, so it is essential we equip ourselves with the tools to drive a recovery once the country reaches 80 per cent 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.”
Schwartz said he has written to all staff at Paradise Resort outlining the reasons for the mandatory vaccination policy and that, based on initial feedback, most employees are supportive of the change, with many already vaccinated and others in the process of getting the jab.
“After the disruptions to employment over the past 18 months, most can understand the need to take this initiative,” he said.
“It’s a case of vaccinate 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.
“Tourism businesses such as Qantas and Virgin have already announced that they will require vaccination for staff members, and I believe 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.”