BUSINESS

Hotels fretting over protocols

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Coronavirus

Hotel health protocols intended to safeguard guests and staff from the novel coronavirus are either vague, impossible to implement or simply too costly to be sustainable, according to businesses and associations in the sector.

One of the biggest problems faced by hoteliers is the unclear cooperation framework with doctors: Although every hotel is supposed to have a medic on site, no consideration has been taken over what kind of medical skills are required or how they will be priced. Consequently, local medical association have tried to fill the gap by publishing fees per hotel room which, however, are not binding for doctors, but constitute a minimum requirement allowing for far higher charges.

One hotelier told Kathimerini that some island doctors this month demanded 100 euros per room per month, which means a cost of €10,000 for a 100-room unit every month.

The issue is urgent as the measure goes in force on Saturday. It is reminded that hotels are obliged to cooperate with a doctor, who will perform the necessary tests and monitor guests who are infected with the virus or showing symptoms of it. However, several medical fields have been excluded from the measure, narrowing the pool.

“It is not the job of hoteliers – and should not be for many reasons – to identify, examine and care for patients suffering from Covid-19,” read a letter sent by hoteliers to the government on Tuesday. “This is the job of the public health agencies. If you believe this is necessary for hotels above a certain capacity, the selection of a doctor or a secondary healthcare supplier should come from a list that you will have drafted, and the expense ought to burden the state budget, not the hotel,” they added.

Hoteliers are also concerned about the random testing being carried out at airports, the fluctuations in test costs and shortages in staff training.

Ferry companies, meanwhile, have also objected to the conditions being imposed on them, saying they are unworkable.

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