Tourism staff are vaccinated but the sector is hit hard by lockdown
of DANIEL JONES at Victoria Falls
THE VICTORIA FALLS, (ACJ News) – CAPTAINS of the hospitality industry denounced the latest measures by the Zimbabwean government to curb the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The industry will not be spared from restrictions to tackle the pandemic, despite a majority of industry workers being vaccinated.
Bongani Zamchiya, president of the Zimbabwe Restaurant Owners Association (ROAZ), said that although the organization supports new measures, the new regulations threaten the livelihoods of restaurateurs, staff and suppliers.
He said restaurants are hygienic and cannot be vectors for the spread of COVID-19.
Zamchiya also revealed that around 75 percent of ROAZ members and staff have been vaccinated.
For example, Victoria Falls achieved herd immunity after the rollout of mass vaccination in the country’s tourist capital, which saw a majority of residents vaccinated.
Ed Shangwa, CEO of ZimSun, recently said that all employees at the main hotelier have been vaccinated.
Anald Musonza, president of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Victoria Falls, said the latest restrictions caused by a further increase in the number of cases were a drawback for businesses starting to recover.
New restrictions came into effect on Monday.
Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, led a Victoria Falls preparatory team.
“As we move forward determined to revive the tourism industry, I feel compelled to remind all stakeholders of the need for strict adherence to the health and safety protocols that our government has developed in accordance with the guiding principles stipulated by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. World Tourism Organization.
“The alternative we face is just too horrible to contemplate, so let’s continue to tread carefully until the sun rises again so that we can all play. The new opening dates for our facilities will be announced in when the time is right, the time is right, ”Ndlovu said.
Some new hotels were due to open in the city, but this was delayed due to the lockdown.
Vice President Costantino Chiwenga, who is also Minister of Health, last weekend announced new measures.
He deplored the complacency of citizens to adhere to preventive measures both in communities and in the workplace.
Workplaces were limited to only 50 percent of the staff.
All gatherings such as weddings, religious gatherings, music festivals and sporting activities, except funerals, are prohibited.
Meetings and workshops will be held virtually, a blow to hoteliers who were now hosting conferences.
Retail businesses and stores are forced to operate between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. under the new measures.
Hotels, lodges, bars and restaurants are only open until 10 p.m., while all other restaurants and fast food outlets only serve take-out.
One of the nation’s resort towns, Kariba has been placed under localized lockdown following a spike in new cases while a number of other towns have been identified as hotpots.
As of Friday (today), Zimbabwe had confirmed 40,927 cases and 1,647 deaths.
– CAJ News