Hotel union welcomes indoor dining


Tribune Staff Reporter


A HOTEL union official yesterday praised the government’s decision to resume indoor dining for hotels, saying the move allows for more industry workers to return to work.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the relaxation of various restrictions on New Providence and Abaco, including reduced curfew hours and the removal of the weekend lockdown.

Other relaxations include outdoor dining now being permitted at restaurants and at fish fries, Monday to Saturday and hotels being allowed to conduct indoor dining.

Darron Woods, president of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union, told The Tribune yesterday: “What that does is it allows more persons to go back to work because initially they were saying you could only have take-outs and with the in-room dining, we know that they’re going to have reduced seatings but it’s still more persons that they would’ve had if it was take out.”

His comments came as some of the country’s top resorts prepare for phased re-opening, with employees at one property already being tested in order to return to work.

Employees at Atlantis Resort are required to be tested before returning to work and on a weekly basis to maintain the resorts’ commitment to health and safety for staff and guests.

Weekly testing for Atlantis employees will occur for the first four to six weeks “to protect the bubble,” resort officials have said.

Asked yesterday if the union was satisfied with the current COVID-19 protocols for workers, Mr Woods said the union is waiting to see what sort of protocols will be implemented to safeguard workers’ safety against the COVID-19 threat once staff return to work.

However, he said, the union agreed with the rapid antigen testing requirement for workers and will continue to monitor the situation.

“We agree with the antigen tests because it’s for the employees’ benefit…and so we, of course, we will be monitoring it, but once they get back to work and we see what is happening – that will be the true test there – to see what’s going on,” he told this newspaper.

“We know about them going back, they have to do the temperature checks, the sanitising, the social distancing so these things we already know. We just have to see what else is going to be implemented. We don’t want to compromise safety and we want to make sure that they’re tested.”

In the meantime, Mr Woods is reminding all hotel workers to follow all COVID-19 prevention protocols to ensure their safety.

Last month, Atlantis confirmed that its phased reopening will take place this year, with its “first guests” expected to return to the Paradise Island property before year-end 2020.

Atlantis’ president and managing director, Audrey Oswell said at the time that further details will be provided shortly on “the milestones Atlantis needs to achieve to bring” its operations back on line.


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