Coronavirus: Vaccinations

About 3,000 hospitality staff have received Covid-19 vaccine

Hotel staff getting their Covid-19 vaccine shots at a vaccination centre in Raffles City Convention Centre yesterday. The hospitality industry was picked as an early recipient of the vaccine as its workers have been on the front lines since March las
Hotel staff getting their Covid-19 vaccine shots at a vaccination centre in Raffles City Convention Centre yesterday. The hospitality industry was picked as an early recipient of the vaccine as its workers have been on the front lines since March last year, with 70 hotels serving as stay-home notice dedicated facilities, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

About 3,000 workers in the hospitality industry have received the Covid-19 vaccine as at Monday, after an inoculation programme for the industry was rolled out on Jan 15.

About two-thirds are staff at stay-home notice (SHN) dedicated facilities, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan yesterday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to a vaccination centre at Raffles City Convention Centre, where he witnessed hospitality staff receiving their shots.

The industry was picked as an early recipient of the vaccine as its workers have been on the front lines since March last year, with 70 hotels serving as SHN dedicated facilities, said Mr Tan.

He added that the inoculation programme will give workers in the industry confidence, especially with the risk of exposure to the virus when they attend to those who have travelled from overseas.

Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) president Kwee Wei-Lin hopes the vaccination programme will also help return the industry to some normalcy.

"We hope it brings back some confidence for our staff... their families, as well as international travellers when they do come back," said Ms Kwee.

The vaccine will be offered to all workers in the hotel industry on a voluntary basis, including at SHA's 160 member hotels, which employ about 40,000 staff.

When asked if the workers' inoculation status will affect how they are deployed, Ms Kwee said all employees would be treated the same.

The industry plans to complete the programme by the third quarter of this year.

On the industry's reaction to recent cases of hotel guests and staff contracting Covid-19, Ms Kwee said the industry is prepared and that the inoculation programme is another layer of protection for staff.

Mr Edward Chew, a lobby ambassador at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, was among those who received their vaccine shot yesterday.

"The virus is vicious, you want to protect yourself, your family and loved ones, the colleagues you work with, and most importantly, the customers you engage," said the 69-year-old who has been with the hotel for 17 years.

Food and beverage executive Ahmad Ridzuan Ahmad said he was thankful to receive the vaccine, especially as cases are soaring in his home country, Malaysia.

The 35-year-old, who works at Pan Pacific Singapore, said the recent cases in hotels worried him. "I'm on the front lines and there's a lot of interaction with guests, so when I was offered the vaccine, I took it very positively."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2021, with the headline 'About 3,000 hospitality staff have received Covid-19 vaccine'. Subscribe