GEORGE TOWN | Hoteliers are seeking clearer guidelines for their staff and customers as they prepare to resume dine-in and offer rooms to the public.

“We are planning how to reopen with the best possible offerings.

“It will not be nice to have a limited variety,” said G Hotel communications director Christina Tan, adding that they were ready to reopen but needed clearer guidelines.

She said they would wait for a few more days for the guidelines to be straightened out to include unvaccinated employees.

“So far, 50% of our team have received their first doses,” she said.

Tan said they were worried about the standard operating procedures as it might vary.

“We do our own low-risk checks and only allow the staff in if they are from a low-risk area.

“We do want to open our dine-in sections but we do not want to jeopardise the health and safety of our team,” she added.

Another factor to weigh is the sunk costs that come with reopening for dine-ins, such as increased electricity consumption.

“The dining-in might not even be enough to cover the cost,” she said, adding that the hotel’s fully vaccinated staff were given a badge to wear so that guests would feel more at ease.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) meanwhile said the relaxation was a significant step forward not just for the tourism industry but also the country as a whole.

“The relaxations for fully vaccinated persons, though only for states in Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan and beyond, bear commitment from the Federal Government to move the country from the state of pandemic to accepting Covid-19 as endemic.

“Although these are relatively small progressive steps, the industry can now prepare itself for reopening,” it said in a statement.

MAH added that allowing dine-ins was expected to benefit hotels, particularly those certified under the Malaysian Clean and Safe by Bureau Veritas Certification (a proprietary hygiene and safety label for hotels by MAH).

“The overall high compliance with SOP by hotels is an added assurance to the public that it is safe to dine in and stay in hotels.

“The hotel industry is ready and will support the government’s calculated steps towards reopening the tourism sector, not just domestically but also internationally,” it said.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the green light for tourism activities within each state under Phase Two involving homestays and hotels for fully vaccinated individuals could benefit the industry.

She said the relaxation was an early measure which could give relief to the industry players affected following the closure of the sector prior to this.

“It is a boon to tourism operators in line with the Tourism Recovery Plan outlined by the ministry.

“The relaxation will be a boost to all quarters involved to reinvigorate the tourism, arts and culture sectors in the country,” she said.

Nancy added that the relaxation could also indirectly enhance the confidence of those who were already fully vaccinated to support domestic tourism.

“Let us make use of the facilities given by continuing to observe the SOP.

“Homestay and hotel operators must ensure those entering their premises show their Covid-19 vaccination digital certificate stating that they had been fully vaccinated,” she said.

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