Some Romanian hotels on Monday reported a massive loss in business after the government imposed new Covid-19 restrictions as it seeks to stem a spike in new cases.
There were reports of 90% cancellations in the Carpathian mountain resort of Predeal, which is popular with tourists in the autumn and winter months. The new restrictions, announced last week, came into effect on Monday.
Hoteliers said they’d have to lay off some staff redundant as there wasn’t enough business. The hospitality industry which has been badly hit by the pandemic recovered during the summer when the caseload was low.
Under the new rules, vaccine passes are needed for access to almost all public venues. The new measures came in after a spike in cases and deaths in the past few weeks.
Romania has one of the lowest vaccine uptakes in the European Union, with only one-third of adults inoculated, but since the announcement, demand for jabs has soared.
There were a record 128,000 vaccines administered on Sunday, the vast majority of them first-time jabs.
Hotel manager Marius Ionita said the loss in business meant he’d have to dig into his own pocket to cover costs. He said 90% of reservations had been canceled at his hotel in Predeal. The new restrictions affect all private parties, wedding parties and business meetings as well.
“There’s no way to sustain the business,” he said. “It’s hard to find staff. A lot of experienced staff such as chefs have changed their careers and have gone into better paid jobs,” he said.
Gabriel Rosca, who manages a hotel in the upmarket mountain resort of Poiana Brasov expressed frustration at the low vaccine rate.
“I wonder what the situation would be if we’d have had a 70% vaccination rate. We’d have more bookings. I’m not happy about the new measures because we need money.”
He suggested the government covered losses by giving tax breaks or reducing taxes.