CABINET’s new policy on the management of COVID-19

26
Cabinet/2014

With effect from 20th September, 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.

With effect from 1st October, 2021 the following measures shall take effect:

• All Unvaccinated Public Sector Employees, inclusive of Statutory Corporations and companies of which the government holds majority shares shall be required to remain at home until proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

• As of 1st October, 2021, No Public Sector Employees, inclusive of Statutory Corporations and companies of which the government holds majority shares shall be paid a salary or wage for the period of non-compliance with the current policy;

• All officers and support staff of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force are required to be vaccinated, effective 1st October 2021;

• Trade Unions and Employee Associations shall be permitted to conduct educational awareness sessions via virtual and face-to-face engagements. All Covid-19 protocols shall be strictly observed;

• All eligible students and teachers shall be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to return to face to face classes;

• All pre-school and primary school teachers shall be required to be fully vaccinated before returning to face-to-face classes;

• All caregivers and support staff are required to be fully vaccinated to provide services at elderly care facilities;

• 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 to be restricted to members of the same household;

• beaches to be closed between 12 noon and 5:am daily commencing 20th September, 2021;

• Bus drivers, conductors and taxi drivers are required to be vaccinated effective 1st October, 2021;

• Failure to comply with the current policy will result in restrictions to operate;

• All pleasure craft fetes, parties and entertainment events and excursions around the coastal waters and offshore islands are suspended with effect from 18th September until 29th September, 2021. Thereafter, only authorized excursion will permitted by the appropriate authorities;

• All Vendors, merchants and service providers and staff operating at the ports of entry are required to be vaccinated;
The Appropriate Authority may exempt the following:

• persons submitting a medical certificate approved by the Chief Medical Officer or Medical Board or a request approved on religious grounds

• Authorized Remote Workers (Public Sector, Statutory Corporations and companies with majority government ownership) between 20th September and 1st October, 2021.

• All persons exempted under this policy are required to produce a negative Covid-19 test twice monthly;

• Minor children (below 18 years of age) arriving at a port of entry in Antigua and Barbuda;
Given the overwhelming epidemiological situation at this time employees of the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre and Community Clinics are exempt from this policy for this period;
The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda recognizes the extreme hardship caused by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the pain and anguish of families due to untimely and unnecessary loss of loved ones. It has caused tremendous economic dislocations, social disruptions and psychological trauma.

The government acknowledges the enormous commitment and sacrifices made the nation’s healthcare professionals and by extension all workers who lock arms daily in a colossal effort and determination to defeat the Covid-19 virus and help to restore this country to some form of normalcy. Covid-19 represents an existential threat and the government calls on entire nation, private sector and public sector and civil society to lend support in this endevour by adopting polices and promoting policies to arrest the effects of this deadly virus.

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26 COMMENTS

    • Hey Michael

      Do you like licking the politician butt for a miserable pay check of 3500 a month without do nothing and just that???? Poor of the lady give you birth M.F…. you born with your stinky but first and destroy her womb for ever…now this???? You kinda son of the B… Never need to be born… that’s why the world is going where is going because idiots as you still occupying space and resources from this crater. Hope one day I get the chance to see your disgusting body and face cabron

      • I’ve survived living in Oak Cliff for five years, when the sun sets there it’s a no go zone for police and you may die if you stop at a red light after hours. You name the time and place, Charlie.

  1. Why close the beaches for the vaccinated tourists and vaccinated locals? this shouldn’t be an issue for the government 7 hours of beach time doesn’t help with eliminating COVID-19 but it does and will impact the tourism economy of this country in a negative way. What happens when tourists stop coming here because of this beach rule only and also spread the word NOT to go to Antigua? What do you think will happen when money stops coming into the country? What do you think will happen when people can’t eat?
    Good move with everything else but the beaches shouldn’t be a part of this!

  2. Takes a lot of backbone by any government to implement such a policy. Kudos to the government for basically putting their political future at stake in the interest of the general public. At the end of the day the chips will fall where they may. At the end of the day all was done in your interest.

  3. JUST SAY the government still does not know what it is doing. On 20 September unvaccinated public servants must stay at home, however, the government is going to Parliament on 23 September to give effect to the new policies (Regulations). Very confused government.

      • Boss….This covid thing continues to emerge and in some instance it is trial and error. Offer proper advise and not criticism so we can get out of this mess. As a lawyer I am sure you must have friends in high places who has the ear of the government to advise them of any anomaly.

        The government is not being spiteful or vindictive in any instance but wants us to get out of this mess. Do you want to continue wearing a mask or you are prepared to happily do so so I cant make out who you are. I am not a member of a lodge so we cant even meet and greet there.

  4. Well I’m sure that’s the nail in the coffin as far as tourism goes. You are kidding yourself if you think antigua can come out of this. The people of antigua are strongly dependent on the tourism. This measure will hurt the people of antigua more than the virus. It’s too bad the real truth about this virus has’t come to life. Nothing to do with your safety, everything to do withpower. The vaccine does not stop you from getting it or transmitting it … in fact, everywhere these mandates have been enforced the case number have increased. I’m done with Antigua, ain’t visiting again.

  5. If we are going to do this let’s do it right NO religion should be exempted!! Let’s call a spade a spade we all know they did that for the rastafarian community, total nonsense.

  6. The Most High Yah is in control, I guess people still not seeing the BIG picture, this is not about covid, this is about them feeling sorry for themselves and using us as bait. But I’m sending out a warning, BE PREPARED NOW, GET YOUR FAMILY SAVED, THERE IS AN URGENCY WITHIN MY SPIRIT. And if any man who has wisdom let him hear, for the day of the Lord is at hand, get your house in order.

  7. Very inept lawyer that Tabor. Every time he criticizes the government, he is wrong on legal footings. He was so adamant that government cannot make vaccination mandatory. Now the brightest of the brightest former CCJ President and Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine have given a legal opinion indicating that Caricom governments can institute mandatory vaccination. I mean you have not heard anything from Tabor on that opinion. Because he knows he goofed once again. Don’t know when this man will learn.

  8. Once again, the government bends over backwards to meet the un-vaccinated at their turf. Do not expect the private sector to do the same. I cannot understand why people must be incentivized so much to do what is best for them. And those that are doing the right thing from the start are just been ignored. What do you think will happen on the workplaces as from Monday? People will stay home and get paid for not having produced while the vaccinated have to do the work and don’t get extra pay. This is so un-fair to the vaccinated people. I guess government is more concern about the unvaccinated. So these people are all getting a two weeks paid leave no questions ask. No sick paper has to be presented. Just come on October 1st with your vaccination card. Sorry no private sector company can afford that. And then government complains about not having any money. This sickens me. Rewarding bad and irrisponsible behavior.

  9. The Beach is not only the beginning but it is the Golden Goose of our Country!! Not only this but our beaches are the healthiest place to be! The reason why tourists come here are because of our beaches! This beach curfew needs to be revised immediately as it is severely flawed! There are tourists here now that this new beach curfew will impact, they are expecting to use the beach every day!! This sudden decision makes for bad reviews and vlogs on booking websites and social media and is very bad for future business!! This is how to definitely kill our Tourism product for the remainder of the season if not for the remainder of the COVID-19 story! Tourists will simply go elsewhere! Especially now before our busy high season months when Tourists are still choosing their winter getaway vacations!! Already all and every tourist is tested negative and vaccinated anyway prior entering the country!! Do you think tourists will want to come here with all the expensive testing requirements, additional tourism taxes being implemented from October 1st, zero choice of open restaurants with seated dining and a in addition a 8pm curfew as well??!! There are lots of other Caribbean Islands tourists can choose to visit, there is no need for tourists to choose this Island for their winter vacation where is it becoming common place that Government is beginning to make seemingly irrational and sporadic decisions!! The fact that people were caught on beaches/ party vessels and or on their way to or on off shore Islands has nothing to do with the rest of our Tourism Product overall, that is for the police/coast guard to manage fine them and even lock the relevant operators down if necessary! If you want to keep our Tourism a much better solution must be found or tourists will most certainly go elsewhere!! It’s as simple as Keep the beaches Open during the day at least!!! Delta is already here it’s not going anywhere it’s already too late we can’t let that destroy our Tourism we just have to ride the wave and keep going just like every other country. The Minister on the radio this morning mentions we may be facing moving to the UK Amber list does the honorable Minister realize this system is being scrapped within weeks?!!

  10. AQUA I agree with you wholeheartedly. More importantly the point that the beach is the healthiest place to be. Many scientists have concluded that the sea water contains a lot of microbes that are good in combatting the covid virus. Perhaps the Cabinet does not know that.

    • Maybe you should understand that it is not about the beach, but about places where people congregate in large clusters and start the socializing, by drinking and liming. I would have wish they only did this on the weekend. Cause some people take their health dip after they come from work.

      • FROM THE SIDELINE I hope by now you would have read my article on the legality and constitutionality of mandatory vaccination. Please note though that while it is legal, I am ideologically opposed to it. The government needed to find ways to get its message across other than Gaston’s bullying.

      • FROM THE SIDELINE we know it is the congregation at the beach. Just like lifeguards are placed on beach, the government could deploy police officers on the beaches (especially the popular ones) and particularly on holidays. Isn’t there congregation at the public market on a Friday and Saturday.

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