At the Domaine Thermal, non-vaccinated health care workers will only be allowed near patients under certain conditions.

Last week, the administrative board communicated the decision to its employees, which caused some backlash on social media. Despite claims that the thermal bath management is blackmailing health care workers, the board stands behind the announcement.

Starting 7 June, employees will have to certify that they have either been vaccinated, possess antibodies, or have been advised by their doctor not to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

If no such proof can be displayed, management requires employees to take a rapid test every single day, or a PCR test every four days. Should they refuse, workers will be reassigned to positions where they are not in direct contact with clients.

The thermal bath will cover the cost of the tests, but expects employees to take them in their spare time.

Paul Hammelmann, president of the administrative board, noted that only a handful of their employees will be affected by the decision. However, because of data protection, the institution has no exact overview of who has been vaccinated already.

Nevertheless, Hammelmann explained that a number of employees have already changed their mind and applied for the vaccine: "Maybe they do not want to go through the testing process, maybe it's just a question of comfort. There are some who still do not want to get vaccinated, but that is their decision. We will continue to pay them, but reassign them to other positions with no physical contact."

The board's human resources delegation approved the decision. Hammelmann further noted that the policy is in accordance with recent jurisprudence from the European Court for Human Rights.

Furthermore, the vaccination or testing strategy makes sense from a financial perspective: "In case an infection cluster occurs, we will have to shut our doors anew. Our approach is in the best interests of the institution, as well as of public health."

Our colleagues from RTL acquired a copy of the internal memo that employees received last week. The document notes that infection clusters may have an impact on salaries.