The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) in a letter to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has suggested making necessary changes in the vaccination guidelines to include banquet halls in hotels as venues for mass immunization of corporate sector. FHRAI has stated that banquet halls in hotels are better equipped than schools, colleges, or community halls for the purpose.
It further said that during the first lockdown, many hotels were requisitioned by local authorities for accommodating doctors and medical workers and also for quarantining Covid patients and hence they are aware of all the safety protocols and are fully capable of conducting mass vaccination at their venues.
‘’Banquet halls in hotels offer just the right kind of venue that will facilitate and expedite the vaccination drive. We request the MoHFW to consider our suggestion and make necessary changes in the vaccination guidelines to include banquet halls in hotels as venues for mass immunization of corporates,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
Kohli said hotels have been at the frontline and have been serving doctors and other health workers since the first lockdown and are fully aware of operating with the required safety guidelines. The financial repercussion of the lockdown has dealt a severe blow to the industry. We were the first sector to be affected by the pandemic and will be the last to revive. The Hospitality sector in the country is waging a battle for its existence today.
‘’Under these extra ordinary circumstances, we are hoping that the Government could extend its support by allowing us to open banquet venues for mass vaccination. This will give our industry some source of revenue while contributing to the nation in its vaccination drive. The Hospitality industry is committed to follow all the health and safety protocols issued by the Government and it has our unwavering support in its efforts to combat the present pandemic,” said Kohli.
The FHRAI has expressed regret with reference to some hotels letting out premises to private hospitals for mass immunization programs for corporates. It has advised all its member hotels to not indulge in any such endeavour that contravenes the National COVID19 Vaccination Guidelines.
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