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Hotel owners worried about 'harassment' as deadline to vaccinate employees passes

Commercial establishments were obligated to ensure that their employees have at least one dose of the vaccine by August 31
Last Updated : 07 September 2021, 00:15 IST
Last Updated : 07 September 2021, 00:15 IST
Last Updated : 07 September 2021, 00:15 IST
Last Updated : 07 September 2021, 00:15 IST

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With the passing of the deadline for commercial establishments to vaccinate their employees, the BBMP has said it will follow up with them to determine the vaccination coverage.

The civic body also has no specific plans on penalties on establishments that failed to comply with its August 26 circular.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has stated in the circular that it is “essential to ensure that staff of commercial establishments, hotels, industries and offices do not get infected and thereafter spread the infection to customers and public who visit such places,” because of the increased risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus in closed spaces.

Commercial establishments were obligated to ensure that their employees have at least one dose of the vaccine by August 31.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta told DH on September 1 that the objective of the circular was not intended to force compliance, but to enlist the support of workers and commercial establishments.

“We believe in reaching out to workers and employers to collaborate with them to get their people vaccinated. With increased availability of doses, anybody can go and get vaccinated. If everyone were to take it up, it is of ultimate benefit to not only them but the public on the whole as well,” Gupta said.

He added that municipal authorities will be conferring with commercial establishments to determine compliance with the circular. “We would rather not take any coercive action. We will gauge and appraise,” he said.

Many commercial establishments and industrial associations that DH spoke to said they supported the “mandatory order” because it was ultimately about the greater good. At the same time, there were anxieties about what the BBMP would do next.

“The positive side is that the BBMP circular would have increased vaccination coverage, but the negative side is that establishments may now face harassment from BBMP marshals if one or two employees are not vaccinated,” said Subramanya Holla, vice-president, Bruhat Bengaluru Hotel Owners’ Association.

Given the acute attrition in the hotel industry, new people are getting recruited and they may not have been vaccinated, Holla explained.

“Even as we try to convince these employees to get vaccinated, there is a concern of harassment by the marshals. In fact, we have already discussed with the BBMP chief commissioner about excluding marshals from the oversight process. Local BBMP health officers are more than qualified to handle oversight and they have been already helpful in terms of arranging doses,” he said.

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Published 06 September 2021, 22:50 IST

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