FHRAI has written to the Home Minister, Amit Shah and Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, requesting due recognition of Hospitality workers in the country as ‘Frontline Corona Warriors’ and be nominated for priority vaccination. In its letter, the Association has informed the Government about its commitment and sense of responsibility towards the nation and its citizens when the COVID19 pandemic hit the country. The FHRAI has stated that hotels and restaurants across the country provided their support to the Government by offering rooms for housing quarantined passengers, doctors, health workers and the police, among others while restaurants served over 3 lakh meals per day to the needy.
“The Hospitality industry came forward to assist the Government in its hour of need. Hoteliers, restaurateurs and more importantly, the people working in hotels and restaurants continued to serve the public during the worst phase of the pandemic. While the industry was bleeding every day on account of the lockdown, hotels and restaurants unflinchingly continued to serve the needy. Hotel employees continue to come in contact with quarantined passengers and with persons kept in isolation. We therefore request the Government of India to take cognizance of these noble and invaluable efforts made by the Hospitality Workers. Vaccinating the Hospitality workforce will instil confidence in guests and also it will give boost to the business. We ask the Government that it treats Hospitality professionals too as frontline Corona Warriors and nominates them for priority inoculation for COVID19,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
During the lockdown, the hospitality industry offered its hotel rooms for housing quarantined passengers, doctors, medical workers, police and municipal workers, among others. Many restaurants threw opened kitchens to prepare and distribute meals for all needy in excess of 3 lakhs meals a day.
“Along with its significant contribution to the economy in the form of around 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP, supporting around 87 million jobs, the Tourism and Hospitality sector is also known for its Social Responsibility endeavours. The hospitality workers of the country risked their lives during the pandemic and while the advent of Coronavirus vaccine has brought a lot of confidence and optimism to the Hospitality sector, there is no sign from the Government about rewarding this sector that played such a critical role during the worst time of the pandemic,” adds Kohli.
Hotels and restaurants are the first point of contact for a traveller. A guest once arrived in a city usually goes directly to a hotel for room or to a restaurant for food. Under such circumstances, hospitality workers are like frontline workers. They are prone to getting infected due to high contact rate.
“Owing to the nature of work and selfless services rendered to the society and the country during the pandemic, people employed in the hospitality industry should be recognized as COVID Warriors and be made eligible for priority vaccination. This small gesture from the Government will go a long way in invigorating our industry and our workers, and will also be a great support in our efforts to come out of the painful memories of the pandemic,” concludes Kohli.