“It is Government's responsibility to ensure the health and safety of persons employed or performing any duty in the workplace, and as such, it is their duty to take reasonable care for the safety of call its employees.”
Atlee P. Rodney, QPM, BSc, Commissioners of Police – Antigua and Barbuda
(CMR) The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda have issued a force standing order (No. 1 of 2021) that makes it mandatory for all police officers to be vaccinated or face unpaid leave. CMR previously reported that the country had mandated vaccination for government employees.
The Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease) Amendment (No. 16) Regulations S I no. 85 of 2021 (“the Regulations”) gazetted on September 17, 2021 mandates that police officers must provide proof of approved vaccination against COVID-19 or supply an authorized exemption from the requirements to be vaccinated.
The Force Standing Order noted that all police officer must provide to the HR Department their original covid-19 vaccination card. The only alternatives are a medical certificate approved by the Chief Medical Officer/Medical Board or an exemption on religious grounds.
Any officer who has an exemption will have to do COVID testing once every 14-days.
Anyone who refuses to comply by October 1 will be placed on unpaid leave. The order was signed by the Commissioner of Police.
The police mandate is in keeping with a country wide mandate that takes effect on Friday, October 1. where public sector and government workers must be fully vaccinated. In addition to government workers, the mandate applies to medical staff, teachers and eligible students, police and defense force members, bus and taxi drivers, caregivers and staff workers at elderly care facilities, cruise-pier vendors and merchants, service providers and staff operating at the ports of entry.
Public sector and government workers who do not comply with the vaccination requirements will not be paid for the period of noncompliance, according to the statement from prime minister Gaston Browne.