Statement from the Private Sector Commission (PSC)
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has observed with increasing concern, the growing cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths, all of which involve persons who are not fully vaccinated, while, at the same time, our government has made sterling efforts to obtain vaccinations for our people in an effort to achieve herd immunity for the nation.
The PSC has noted the recent position taken by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and that of the government of Belize, for instance, that those who refuse to be vaccinated are putting the rest of the population at risk. The Commission endorses the position taken by the Adviser to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, that “if you want to exercise a right to not take the vaccine you must be prepared to face the consequences” and that “while someone has the right to refuse the vaccine those persons do not have a right to expose the rest of us to their reckless risks”.
The Private Sector has also taken note of the fact that there is extensive and growing judicial opinion within the Caribbean and internationally that individual rights do not override the collective right of the community when the community as a whole is threatened.
The Private Sector Commission is ready and willing to support all and any action taken by our government that will serve to protect our population from the surge of this pandemic, inclusive of a comprehensive policy to be ‘gazetted’, which will ensure that vaccinated citizens are protected against exposure from those who exercise the freedom to refuse to be vaccinated.
The Private Sector Commission embraces and recommends that its member companies require that all those of its employees who refuse to be vaccinated must provide evidence of a medically current COVID-19 negative test from infection before reporting to work, while continuing to encourage all of its employees to become vaccinated.
The Private Sector Commission further urges that the government require that all medical and security personnel in frontline contact with other persons must either be vaccinated or provide evidence of a medically current COVID-19 negative test and that all places providing hospitality and entertainment services, including restaurants, require evidence of either vaccination or a medically current COVID-19 negative test from its customers in order for them to receive service.