The government of Antigua and Barbuda has instituted a vaccine mandate for government employees, effective September 20.
Beginning on October 1, all unvaccinated employees will be required to remain at home without pay until they provide proof of vaccination.
A statement from Cabinet, posted on the Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister, said,
“With effect from September 20, 2021, Cabinet agreed that all unvaccinated government employees to include the Public Service, statutory corporations and companies in which the government owns majority shares shall be required to remain at home until proof of vaccination is provided. None of these employees shall be paid a salary or wage for the period of non-compliance with the current policy, beginning on October 1.”
It said people submitting a medical certificate approved by the Chief Medical Officer or Medical Board or a request approved on religious grounds and authorised remote public-service workers can be exempted, but must produce a negative covid19 test twice a month.
All arriving passengers, including returning nationals and residents, must have received at least the first dose of a vaccine approved by the appropriate authorities in Antigua and Barbuda. Minor children (below 18) arriving at a port of entry in the country are exempt.
In response, PSA president Watson Duke said he believed such a move by the TT government would not be favourably received.
“Antigua and Tobago are two different areas. If the government of the Republic of TT led by Dr Keith Christopher Rowley was to try this here, there will be many political fallouts. I’m not sure how people would respond but I think the response of the general public would not be one that would be in support of him, but would be against him, and would have been the final nail in the coffin.”