Persons employed in the tourism sector have not been responding positively to the vaccination campaign, as fewer than 2,000 persons have, to date, received the jab.
Accordingly, vaccination might become a prerequisite to persons remaining employed in the sector.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas says that a team of tourism stakeholders met with the Cabinet on Wednesday (May 5) to look at the way forward once tourism season reopens in June.
He says there were some interesting facts gleaned from this meeting, including that visitors want a guarantee of their safety once they get here.
Nicholas says that this is worrying, since the country’s main economic driver is tourism, and if persons are not vaccinated this would be an issue.
Nicholas says that of the over 5,000 persons employed at the respective hotels across the island, only 1,900 have been vaccinated.
He is encouraging those within the sector to take the jab, but says that it will be a challenge for hotel owners due to the reluctance of some persons.
Nicholas says that the tourism officials will either meet with the Cabinet again or indicate to the body, in the coming days, what types of policies will be developed to assist in meeting the expectations of their guests.
Nicholas says it will take at least eight to 10 weeks for the remaining employees to get vaccinated if they start in earnest now.
He says that, as hotel properties look at rehiring, the owners may be forced to look at giving priority to persons who are already vaccinated.