(CMR) Anguilla has announced that persons seeking to renew or obtain a new work permit will be required to get their COVID-19 vaccine for the permits to be approved.
This might be starting to be a common thread around the region as several counties have indicated that they will require work permit holders to get vaccinated. Even the Cayman Islands Government has expressed that it could take this step. Premier Hon. During a recent press briefing, Wayne Panton confirmed that his PACT government was considering making a similar move in terms of making it mandatory for a vaccine certificate to be presented when applying for the renewal or a new work permit. If the certificate is not provided, then the work permit would not be processed as the application would be incomplete.
Turks and Caicos and St Kitts and Nevis have also indicated that the COVID-19 vaccine will be a requirement for work permits to be granted or renewed.
Anguilla Minister of Home Affairs Kenneth Hodge said the decision to make vaccination compulsory for permit holders was influenced by the request of vaccinated visitors that vaccinated staff members serve them.
According to The Anguillian, Hodge said, “Recently we have been getting much feedback from the hospitality sector regarding the fact that incoming visitors who are fully vaccinated are beginning to inquire whether the workers who are rendering them service are themselves vaccinated. This is an issue that we now find ourselves grappling with.”
“One would recall that Government has been very sensitive to what people have been saying about mandatory vaccinations. Government has been exploring the possibilities of mandatory vaccinations in both the public and private sectors. At this point, we have not advanced to that stage. This was basically due to the encouraging signs of the number of persons who were indeed going out to take their doses.
“However, the reality remains that if we are not careful, our hospitality sector, in particular, can be overrun. Consequently, we have taken steps to put in place mandatory vaccination requirements for work permit holders.”
Hodge said that the industry itself is requiring that all persons who are serving guests must be vaccinated. He noted that it would be unfair to allow this anomaly to continue, where we expect our guests, as visitors, to be vaccinated, but those persons who are serving them are not vaccinated, The Anguillian reported.