Hoteliers on Monday said they were thinking of hiring only vaccinated staff citing reluctance by some of their employees to take the jab.
Head of hoteliers’ association Pasyxe, Haris Loizides, said that it is an issue he had also raised with the labour minister.
“We are close to taking decisions that only vaccinated staff will be coming to work,” Loizides told state broadcaster CyBC.
“We have reached our limits of begging and asking the staff to get vaccinated with them using various excuses, this cannot go on anymore,” Loizides said.
According to some legal circles, he said, this was unconstitutional. “We say the issue is up for discussion.”
He said that he was aware of many cases in the US and Europe where such restrictions also concerning employment and other issues were in place.
“The wages of a person who refuses to get vaccinated may affect the wages of another 30 people who have been vaccinated,” Loizides said.
He suggested that if more restrictions and lockdowns are on their way, they should concern only those who are unvaccinated, “because our patience has run out, we have found this weapon against the pandemic which we are not making use of.”
Loizides said hotels do check their guests if they hold a safe pass upon arrival. He also said that people cannot blame airports for the rise in cases. According to Loizides, out of the 500,000 to 600,000 arrivals last year, only 450 to 500 cases were detected.
In the meantime, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said that he believes the government ought to give vaccinated people some incentives.
Speaking to Sigma TV, Karousos said this was an issue to be discussed at cabinet where all ministries will be asked to submit their proposals.
“What is happening now, is that those who are vaccinated bear the brunt for those who have decided not to,” Karousos said.
He added that one of the incentives already in place is that vaccinated people can travel to almost all EU countries without any restrictions. He said that Italy has recommended that those who travel abroad are vaccinated.
The Greek government announced on Monday that it will offer young people a cash reward for receiving their first shot against Covid-19.
“I cannot understand why many people are not getting vaccinated, especially the younger ages but we have reached a point where the economy is at risk of locking because a percentage has decided they will not get vaccinated,” Karousos said.
Until Saturday, a total of 63.6 per cent of the eligible population had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 47.8 per cent had completed their vaccination.
Commenting on Cyprus not making it, yet again, onto the UK’s green list, he said that one of the main criteria for the UK is the vaccination percentage. He said that Malta, that is on the UK’s green list, has a population coverage of 85 per cent while it records very small numbers of cases per week.
“Unfortunately, we have not reached the percentage of vaccinations based on the population the UK is looking for. If we were at 75 per cent to 80 per cent, things would be much different,” he said.
Karousos said he wondered why those who are active in the tourism industry in Cyprus are not willing to get vaccinated. “How come we have such a low percentage of people vaccinated within the industry?” he asked. “It is unthinkable because the tourism industry will not open if we do not achieve high vaccination percentages.”