(CMR) The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda has announced mandatory vaccination for all government employees, including those in the public service, statutory corporations, and companies in which the government owns majority shares.
Cabinet said it decided to alter several of its policies in order to speed up the process to achieve herd immunity before the end of the year.
According to the Antigua Observer, beginning next Monday, September 20, these employees are being asked to stay at home until they can present proof of vaccination. All unvaccinated employees will also be required to remain at home until they can prove that they have taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
Employees who do not comply with the new requirements will not be paid a salary or wage for the period of non-compliance with the current policy. The policy is expected to stay in effect indefinitely, the Observer reported.
Cabinet states that until Health Officials advise that the COVID-19 situation is contained, these policies will remain in effect.
Cabinet has also implemented several other measures to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, beaches are to close at noon until 5am daily. All pleasure entertainment events and excursions around the coastal waters and offshore islands are suspended immediately until September 29, 2021.
The Antigua Observer also reported that all arriving passengers, including returning nationals and residents, are required to have received at least the first dose of a vaccine approved by the appropriate authorities in Antigua and Barbuda.
Informal/public gatherings are to be restricted to members of the same household.
Bus drivers, conductors and taxi drivers are also required to be vaccinated effective October, 1, 2021, or they will face restrictions to operate. Taxi drivers, vendors, and merchants at the ports of entry are required to be vaccinated.