The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) this week updated its list of essential workers that should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1c.
The list, which is intended to help state and local officials prepare for the allocation of vaccine supply by mapping essential industries, now includes “Traveler Accommodation under the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Categories of Essential Workers.
The Traveler Accommodation category includes “commercial facilities; public works and infrastructure support services; residential/shelter facilities, housing and real estate, and related services,” meaning that hotel workers will now be able to get vaccinated as the industry continues to reopen to travelers around the world.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), commended the decision.
“Thanks to AHLA’s ongoing efforts, the CDC has updated its guidelines prioritizing hotel workers under Phase 1c of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. This is a significant achievement that directly impacts the health and safety of hotel workers across the country. It also recognizes that hotel employees continue to be on the front lines of the pandemic.
“From housing healthcare workers and first responders to now supporting the ongoing vaccine distribution, our industry is playing a vital role in supporting our communities as we battle this public health crisis. While hotels have protocols in place to ensure limited contact between employees and guests, prioritizing employees with access to the vaccine would provide another layer of protection.
AHLA also renewed its call sending a letter to the National Governors Association advocating for inclusion of hotel workers in state vaccine distribution efforts.
“Travel and tourism are critical drivers of the American economy, and while travel demand has hit record lows, ensuring hotel employees are prioritized during the vaccine rollout will help keep both employees and guests safe when it becomes safe to travel and resume meetings and events once again,” Rogers said.