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Govt Starts Vaccinating Tourism Sector workers against COVID-19

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30- The government through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has started vaccinating workers in the Tourism and Hospitality sector.

According to the Tourism Operators Society of Kenya, more than 100 people had lined up to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Kenyatta International and Convention Centre on the first day of the vaccination drive.

The drive was launched last week by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, targeting frontline workers in the tourism and hospitality sector.

The society said the move will pave way for the recovery of the sector which has continued to witness dwindling profits since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the country in March 2020.

Travel restrictions to curb the spread of the disease has led to cancellation of flights and hotel reservations which continues to affect the sector’s performance.

“Over 100 members of Tourism Operators Society of Kenya are getting their 1st Dose of the COVID 19 Vaccination this morning at KICC, and this means members are ready to take the tourism industry to greater heights,” Tourism Operators Society of Kenya tweeted.

The vaccination drive starts in Nairobi, where the government targets 5,000 workers in the hospitality sector.

Balala had earlier revealed that the industry will be allocated a further 50,000 doses of the jab that will go into the program.

Those targeted for the program are working in high contact establishments services such as bars, restaurants, accommodation facilities, and tour drivers.

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In 2020, Kenya’s tourism sector lost close to $1 billion in revenue between January and October due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

The sector contributes 10 percent of the country’s annual GDP employing over 2 million people.

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