Meliá vaccinating over 2,200 workers in Punta Cana-Bávaro hotels. | Ultima Hora

The Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca, or FEHM and the Hotel Chains Group, or ACH say they will buy Covid vaccines if Brussels approves, as Balearic hoteliers did in the Dominican Republic.

“The centralised purchase of vaccines is done by the European Union and they're redistributed to member countries, in our case the Government. Right now, direct purchase is not authorised, so until changes are made in this regard, there is no possibility of employers acquiring vaccines,” said FEHM President Maria Frontera and ACH President Gabriel Llobera.

“If the situation changes, it is possible that companies from all areas will resort to this option, but that decision depends on various factors, such as the level of vaccination currently in place and the situation in emitting markets and competing destinations."

For weeks, hoteliers in Spain and the rest of Europe have been demanding increased vaccination "because of the dependence on the state of the emitting markets."

The level of immunisation is currently 19.79% in the Balearic Islands; 23.2% in Spain; 23.7% in Germany and 49.7% in the UK.

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"Given the imminent start of the season, we reiterate that once the immunisation of risk groups and vulnerable groups has been overcome, the criteria for groups of workers in places where there’s a high influx of people, such as the Tourism Sector, will be taken into account,” said Frontera and Llobera.

Hotel chains are vaccinating their workers in the Dominican Republic after reaching an agreement with the local Government because they're committed to receiving tourists there and in Indonesia as soon as possible,” said CAEB President, Carmen Planas. "We consider the tourist season indispensable because neither the companies, workers, nor Balearic society will be able to withstand another failed season like 2020. We demand preferential treatment by the Central Government for all the citizens of the Balearic Islands, which is the community most affected by this crisis. The fall in Balearic GDP is double the national average.”

"We do not value the strategies of companies to protect their workers in this Caribbean country,” said the President of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, when asked yesterday about the strategy of hoteliers in the Dominican Republic. “The Balearics meet the vaccination processes imposed by Brussels and are now more accelerated as will be seen in the coming months. The goal is to vaccinate the population as quickly as possible."

“The differences between the Dominican Republic and Mallorca are very clear, since the Balearic Islands depend on the Government,” said PIMEM President, Jordi Mora.

Hoteliers and employers hope that the European Union will accelerate vaccination in May, so that by June enough of the population will be immunised to launch the digital health passport, or digital green certificate.