NEWMARK Hotels, Reserves, Lodges & Residences has announced the implementation of a vaccination drive amongst its employees. The “I am vaccinated” campaign has been a huge success, with 90% of the group’s staff being fully vaccinated – and the goal of reaching 100% by the upcoming holiday season is well within sight.

“In hospitality, employees are regularly exposed to customers, and keeping in mind the utmost safety and wellbeing of both our guests and employees, we have been conducting a vigorous vaccination drive for all our teams across the portfolio. Over 90% of employees within the company have been completely vaccinated with both doses of the vaccination,” says Neil Markovitz, CEO of Newmark Hotels, Reserves, Lodges & Residences.  “We will reach our target of having every one vaccinated by the beginning of the holiday  season.”

“Looking after people is our business and we just didn’t see how to fulfil this responsibility without taking decisive action, and so implemented our “I Am Vaccinated” campaign.  We also feel that vaccines are crucial to restoring confidence in the safety of South Africa as a destination and by vaccinating all of our staff we can instil confidence amongst out guests in all of the Newmark hotels, reserves and lodges.”

Markovitz advises that like all hospitality establishments in South Africa, they have been hit with crippling cancellations following the news of the new Covid variant. “We have already seen many booking cancellations for the upcoming season. We are saddened by the recent news and reactionary stance that certain countries have taken to ban travel to and from South Africa, based on the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant.”

“October brought welcome news for South Africa’s tourism industry – with the easing of lockdown restrictions and the resumption of normalised international travel bringing the promise of a bumper summer holiday season. However, this was short lived, and the sector has once again been thrown into turmoil. The hope is that the current panic eases quickly and that restrictions are lifted in time to salvage part of our summer tourist season, but at this stage it is an unknown,” says Markovitz.

“Like we did last year, our focus must remain on the domestic travel market and we would like to assure our current and future guests that Newmark are doing everything within our power to keep them safe during their time with us. Currently more than 90% of all Newmark staff have been fully vaccinated and soon all of our employees will boast a fully vaccinated status.”

In addition to the vaccination drive, Newmark has pioneered a higher standard of sanitation and cleanliness across its portfolio with its ‘Safe & Clean Commitment’. The teams have remained committed to adhering to strict Covid-19 protocols, including daily fogging of rooms and the removal and replacement of high touch items.

“While emphasising our world-class Covid-19 health and safety protocols, we can also say that when guests arrive, they will be in contact with staff who are vaccinated. We look forward to welcoming guests to our properties and restaurants over the festive season and assure the highest standard of Covid-compliance and cleanliness across the board,” concludes Markovitz.

Newmark has also announced that they are partnering with Rowbotics Pty Ltd to offer on-site Covid testing at all of their Cape Town Hotels (The Onyx, Victoria & Alfred Hotel, The Rockefeller, The Winchester Hotel, Queen Victoria, and Dock House Boutique Hotel) for guests as well as staff members – including PCR and antigen tests. Guests will be able to easily book their tests before departing for their next destination at a cost of R900 per PCR and R450 per antigen test.

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Liam TomlinANEW Hotel Green Point