Antigua: Mandatory vaccination or COVID-19 testing for frontline workers

Vaccination in Antigua has been made mandatory for the frontline workers. The government announced that if a person has not got their vaccination should get tested for COVID-19 every 2 weeks at their own expense.

Antigua: Mandatory vaccination or COVID-19 testing for frontline workers
Antigua: Mandatory vaccination or COVID-19 testing for frontline workers

Vaccination in Antigua has been made mandatory for the frontline workers. The government announced that if a person has not got the vaccination should get tested for COVID-19 every 2 weeks at their own expense.

These new vaccination policies have sent to PM Gaston Browne through a memorandum in which it was informed that his government was studying the policy.

One such memo to the department of Immigration stated that all officers and auxiliary staff members had been duly encouraged to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or subject themselves to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests every 14 days, at their own cost.

The testing of the unvaccinated staff members would get started from the 14th day after following orders on Monday, July 26th. New COVID-19 policy had been confirmed by Melford Nicolas, Minister of Information, after Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

The list of frontline workers includes the staff of Immigration and Customs, Port Health workers that further includes the greeters and the nurses and doctors, the EMS workers, the police and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force personnel, vendors and businesses that provide services to the cruise passengers in Heritage and Redcliffe Quays, tour operators and taxi drivers and others who were employed by the public sector who have been compelled to have to contact with those arriving at their ports.

Earlier this week, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max” Hurst, said that he might excuse the workers those who are pregnant or suppose to developing blood clots from taking the vaccine, other civil servants were set on being obstinate and were rejecting the jabs because they were listening to silly people who are spreading lies and untruths and otherwise trying to dumb us down.

Responding to a query from the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA), Joan Peters said that the citizens should get vaccinated because giving the cost for the testing process would be out of the expenses in this case, the citizens should get vaccinated that has been provided by the government for free.