ZB

Mike Yardley: Has the Government made a blunder over mandates for accommodation?

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Dec 2021, 11:37am
(File Photo / Grayson Ottoway)
(File Photo / Grayson Ottoway)

Mike Yardley: Has the Government made a blunder over mandates for accommodation?

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Dec 2021, 11:37am

Has the Government made a monumental blunder over vaccine mandates and the accommodation sector? With the holiday season upon us, it seems completely barking that vaccine passes haven’t been made a pre-condition for booking accommodation.

For bedding down, whether it’s a hotel, motel, Airbnb or holiday park.

It’s mystifying really, particularly given the Beehive’s penchant for regulating your life.

And I’m yet to hear a plausible reason as to why accommodation hasn’t been treated through the same lens as hospitality.

The Government has seemingly made a weird distinction that lodging isn’t part of the hospitality industry.

So as it stands, accommodation providers have been given free rein to make the call themselves. Most hotels and motels are choosing to make vaccine passes mandatory. 

But what about holiday parks and your happy campers? 18 per cent of this country’s guest nights are spent in holiday parks. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will be in one over summer.

If you ran a risk matrix across the accommodation sector, surely the lights would be flashing red on holiday parks and the unvaccinated. The issue is all of those communal spaces.

Yet as you may have seen over the week, about a third of holiday parks and camping grounds will not require vaccine passes.

Surely they are a sitting duck for an outbreak.

Campers en-masse gathering in the kitchen, sharing the communal facilities, showering, washing and toileting in the same shared stalls.  With no vaccine mandate.

If that is not a sure-fire recipe for spread – slap me now.

The mass assembly of unvaxxed mixing and mingling in a holiday park sounds like a transmission hot zone in the making.

A human petri dish of holiday trouble. Aided and abetted by a government seemingly oblivious to the extra risky hotspot they have created. How was this missed?

How did this incredibly dopey oversight slip through the net?