The Gujarat government has made it compulsory for people engaged in commercial activities to vaccinate their staff against Covid-19 by June 30, otherwise their facilities will be closed.
Owners and employees of business complexes, gyms, stores, libraries, restaurants, public transportation, cinemas and shopping malls must receive their first dose of Covid vaccine by June 30 in 18 major cities in the state. The deadline for the rest of the state is set for July 10th. The severity of the penalties for non-compliance is still under review, government officials said.
In its June 25 notice, the Gujarat government urged companies and service providers with direct public engagement to receive the vaccine dose to contain the spread of Covid-19 and prevent a possible third wave.
While shop and hotel owners have objected to the short notice, many vaccination centers in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and parts of Saurasthra ran out of vaccines by noon on Saturday. “The government is unable to secure sufficient supplies in the vaccination centers, but they are forcing us to get vaccinated. Where do we get the vaccine from by June 30th? ”Said a fast food co-owner in the Vastrapur area of Ahmedabad.
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While trade organizations welcomed the compulsory vaccination to contain the spread of the infection, they expressed concerns about the short deadline. Jayendra Tanna, President of the Gujarat Traders’ Federation, said, “Vaccination is a good cause and the scientifically proven vaccines should not be suspected. But we reject the government’s strict deadline. In big cities it’s only five days. How can you ensure compliance at such short notice? “
The decision was made at a meeting of the core committee chaired by Prime Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday. Trade organizations are likely to urge the state to ease the deadline for vaccine shortages in all centers.
Narendra Somani, chair of the Hospitality Committee of the Gujarat Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), expressed the need for a deadline extension and hoped the government would ease the deadline for major cities.
Somani stated that around 60 percent of hotel staff are already vaccinated. “The industry has only recently gotten back on its feet. And now this policy is making it difficult to vaccinate all employees in such a short amount of time.” He added that the Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant Association (HRAG) will seek an extension of the deadline.
The Gujarat Home Office stated in its June 25 notice that non-compliance will be penalized under the Gujarat Epidemic Diseases Covid-19 Regulation, 2020, formed under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897; Section 188 of the Indian Criminal Code and Disaster Management Act.