The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Health has secured two major developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine. First, the Ministry of Health has made available over 7,500 doses which can be used by every willing citizen and resident of Zanzibar and Second, hotel and tourisms workers are among the priority sector to receive the vaccine.   

Attaining eligibility and making vaccine accessible took tremendous effort, and on 23rd July, 2021 Hotel Association Zanzibar (HAZ) had a very successful meeting with the Minister of Health; First, to congratulate him on this major development and Second, to offer support and assistance in preparing the hospitality workers to receive the vaccine and to work toward increasing a larger and wider availability of vaccines.

Hotel workers are essential front line workers who put themselves in danger of infection every time they show up to work. The health and safety of our staff and our guests is our top priority. A successful vaccination program is essential to control this ‘new occupational hazard’, put their health first and give them peace of mind.

Our hospitality staff should be more assured that vaccination is a key measure, along with mask wearing, social distancing and stepped-up cleanliness protocols and hygiene practices in minimizing the spread of COVID-19. With taking the vaccine we will create a safer environment for all associates, and provide our guests with the reassurance that their service staff and the living environment is a safe and uncontaminated one. Tourists confidence to travel again to Zanzibar will increase significantly and help the recovery of the travel and tourism sector in Zanzibar.

Hotel Association Zanzibar (HAZ) responsibility is to support and facilitate the registration process then hand over to the Ministry of Health to allocate vaccines and conduct the vaccination exercise for the entire frontline staff across the tourism and hospitality industries. HAZ is working with the Ministry of Health, in a public, private, community partnership, to make this important exercise timely move forward. Also HAZ will provide hotels that can be added to the list of possible vaccination sites, for ease of distribution and vaccination across the hospitality industry (all establishments that would like to participate including members and non-members of HAZ) in all regions of Zanzibar from North, East, South, Urban and Pemba.    

“The quicker the immunization happens and we can get back to normal, the quicker tourism can get back to normal,” Wilfred Shirima, Chapter Chairman Urban, and CEO of HAZ. “As you know, over 60% of Zanzibar GDP is dependent on tourism and therefore extensively the livelihood and the wellbeing of our people.

HAZ will immediately share a registration link, through which establishments can place their vaccine requirements with the Ministry of Health.