In a decision intended to speed the achievement of herd immunity by year’s end, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, today (September 16) introduced new coronavirus (COVID-19) policies that mandate vaccination for all government employees.
The new mandate is to include government employees in the public service, statutory corporations and companies in which the government owns majority shares.
Guided by the new measure all government workers, as of Monday, September 20, will be asked to stay at home until they are able to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Employees who fail to comply with the mandate have been informed that they will not be paid a salary or wage for the period of non-compliance with the new policy.
The policy is expected to stay in effect indefinitely.
According to Cabinet notes, “Until Cabinet is advised by Health Officials that the Covid-19 situation is “under control”, these policies affecting unvaccinated public workers entering on to Government employment places shall remain in effect.
“A precise date for the end of these announced policies is therefore not yet determined.”
Other measures introduced by the Cabinet include a minimum of one Antigua and Barbuda approved vaccine dose for all arriving passengers, including returning nationals and residents, restrictions of informal/public gatherings to members of the same household and the vaccination of all bus drivers, taxi drivers and conductors effective October 1, 2021.
In addition, all pleasure craft fetes, parties and entertainment events and excursions around the coastal waters and offshore islands are suspended until, September 29, 2021.