Should Croatian Tourism Workers Have Coronavirus Vaccination Priority?

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Ministry of Tourism has asked the Croatian Institute of Public Health to place Croatian tourism workers on the priority list for vaccination against the novel coronavirus in order to maximise the safety of tourists and further fuel the perception that Croatia is a safe holiday destination in 2021.

To this end, in cooperation with professional associations, a large survey is currently being conducted across all parts of the aforementioned sector in order to determine the interest among Croatian tourism workers.

This was confirmed recently by the Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Brnjac, explaining that this activity was defined at the beginning of this week at the meeting of the Council for the Recovery and Development of Tourism, where they talked about the realisation of Croatian tourism in 2021.

We don’t want a Covid ”passport”

Brnjac reiterated that Croatia is not thinking about using Covid passports, which are being talked about more and more on a global and European level. Namely, after Greece raised the issue with numerous European institutions last week, this week Spain also announced that it would introduce vaccination certificates and a kind of register of those who have been vaccinated, in order to speed up the return of tourism.

“Croatia won’t go in that direction, but we’ll continue to work on the introduction of safety protocols and health standards, and we’ll use that in our promotional campaigns. As it is known, in addition to the Safe Travels label we received from the World Tourism Council (WTTC), we’re also introducing our national Safe stay label, with detailed protocols in all segments.

70 percent of the bloc’s total population could be vaccinated by the summer, according to European Union plans

All those interested will be able to get this tag for free, and use it in their own promotion. With all these measures, the vaccine is a remarkable thing for tourism, which will contribute to the return of normal tourist traffic. That’s why we talked to the members at the Council, to see what the interest of the tourism sector is.

Namely, as hoteliers have organised voluntary flu vaccinations for their employees, they’re now busy surveying how many Croatian tourism workers are interested in receiving the new coronavirus vaccine, so that figures that can be talked to the CNIPH about can be obtained. This will help us prepare well for this season and send out the message all those who want to be vaccinated in the Croatian tourism sector should be vaccinated, ie that, in addition to healthcare workers and other professions, Croatian tourism workers should also be a priority,” explained Brnjac.

No restriction of movement

The survey is also promoted and conducted on its website by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). “As the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has received several requests from employers on the importance of vaccinating Croatian tourism workers who are in direct contact with guests, members of the Council were asked to conduct a survey of company interests to be included in the vaccination process for coronavirus protection and an estimate of the number of workers who would opt for vaccination as soon as possible.

On behalf of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the presidents of the Association and the Communities of the Department of Tourism have been appointed as members of the Council, and we’ve been asked to conduct a survey among the members, which is still open,” the Chamber pointed out.

The European Union’s tourism sector, as well as the national governments of member states, are intensively considering the best way to promote vaccinated travellers and tourists in some way, without discriminating against travellers who, for various reasons, will not be vaccinated until spring or summer, when the European Union plans for 70 percent of its total population to possibly be vaccinated.

The meeting of the heads of national governments of the EU held a few days ago also discussed the introduction of a kind of health certificate, but Brnjac believes that the unified position of the Union will not go in the direction of any restriction of movement.

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