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30th Jun 2021

Calls for hospitality staff to be vaccinated immediately

Kat O'Connor

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Unvaccinated hospitality staff must receive their vaccine immediately, Gerry Light, Mandate General Secretary has warned.

There has been huge uproar following the Government’s decision to delay indoor dining and only allow vaccinated or immune people to dine inside when the sector re-opens, especially when you consider the huge proportion of unvaccinated workers serving them.

A huge chunk of staff in cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants are in their 20s and 30s, which means they’re at the end of the vaccination list.

People have stressed just how important it is to offer them their Covid-19 sooner than planned.

“Here we have a proposal based on the public’s access to vaccination. The proposal they appear to be considering is that you can have a pint if fully vaccinated but can’t go indoors if not,” Gerry Light commented.

He stressed that it is completely unfair to expose staff members to the virus and vaccinating them at an earlier date should be seriously considered by the Government.

However, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly stated that the current protocols protect staff, but is it enough when Nphet have expressed such concern about the Delta variant?

Donnelly commented, “There are health and safety protocols in place, you’re wearing a mask and there are infection prevention and control measures.

“However, if you’re a diner in there, obviously you’re not wearing a mask and those same protocols would not apply to you.”

Vaccinating hospitality workers should be a priority ahead of the new re-opening date.

Protecting them as they return to work is the least they deserve after everything the sector has experienced throughout the pandemic.