Last Updated on Sunday, 5 September 2021, 15:53 by Denis Chabrol
The latest COVID-19 measures now indicate that educators as well as well as other employees working in all government-owned and privately-owned buildings being used for public purposes must now be vaccinated or have a negative PCR test within seven days.
The September 4, 2021 measures, signed by Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony and published in the Official Gazette, state that unvaccinated employees working in public buildings including “all institutions of learning”. Government has already indicated that cleaners, administrative and other support staff at schools would also have to abide by the rules.
The measures interpret a “public building” as any building to which the public has lawful access and shall include both publicly and privately owned buildings.
This amendment came two days before schools are due to reopen to face-to-face classes on September 6, 2021 for the first time since March, 2020 due to the coronavirus.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of a lawsuit by the Guyana Teachers’ Union, Guyana Public Service Union and the Guyana Trades Union Congress requesting the scrapping of COVID-19 measures that require workers be vaccinated or have a negative PCR test.
Other than employees at public buildings, government restated in its amended measures that anyone who is unvaccinated can only enter a public building by appointment and have a negative PCR test taken within seven days.
The opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) and the three trade union organisations in the lawsuit have labelled government’s COVID measures as amounting to coercive or mandatory orders.
The Health Ministry has said that most persons, who have ended up in a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit have not been fully vaccinated.