Trinidad Guardian:- Government offices are now safe-zones and entry will only be granted to the vaccinated.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday specified that there was no vaccine mandate to force people to be vaccinated but instead all government offices will become safe zones in which only vaccinated workers would be allowed. Unvaccinated workers will not be allowed in the building and will not be paid if they are unable to work.
Dr Rowley also announced that all public service offices will be closed from Christmas Eve until January 2.
Speaking at the COVID-19 media briefing yesterday, he gave the status of staff vaccinations throughout government offices and compared it with vaccination rates in the private sector.
“It is possible, in some sectors, in this requirement to get vaccinated and use this vaccination as a protection from this intruder but only some sectors have been able to accomplish it or have made any effort to accomplish it and the biggest delinquent is the Government,” Dr Rowley said.
According to data presented at the briefing, only 49 per cent of the country’s 7,955 police officers are vaccinated. In the prisons, with a staff size of 3,400, only 35 per cent are vaccinated, while in the Defence Force with 5,400 staff only 30 per cent are vaccinated.
The Prime Minister produced data for all the Regional Health Authorities but not for teachers. He warned, however, that the vaccination mandate will be for all persons paid by the State.
“Let us be disciplined people. This fight against the pandemic calls for discipline,” he said.
“And that is why the Government is now going to act because we can’t rely on what others have done if the largest component and the largest employer of people are not able to do what is required to be done,” he said.
Dr Rowley said he expected pushback: “I know that there would be a lot of response to this but let all those responses be grounded in the foundational argument that there is pandemic taking place in the world.
“If we don’t intervene, the outcome is one of delinquency. A government cannot accept delinquency in a pandemic. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, nobody said it was going to be painless but what we always said is that we will do what is required to be done to bring all of us out of this as best we could and that is where we are at the moment.”
The Prime Minister said that government workers have until mid-January to be vaccinated or face being furloughed.
(Read more at:- https://guardian.co.tt/news/pm-rowley-no-unvaccinated-workers-allowed-6.2.1429166.4a6c17dc84)