British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Dec 04, 2021

Businesses have the right to make their own vaccine rules - Premier

Businesses have the right to make their own vaccine rules - Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie has weighed in on the issue of businesses that require their employees to be vaccinated or, alternatively, get tested for COVID-19 twice weekly in order to keep their jobs.
Speaking to reporters late last week, Premier Fahie said his position has always been that the government has no intention of making the vaccines mandatory and persons have a right whether they want to take the vaccine or not.

But while prefacing his comment with the warning that some persons may not like his statement, Premier Fahie said: “Businesses also have a right to determine how they want their business to function” in this regard.

“It will never be made mandatory by the government but all entities have their rights,” the Premier added.

The issue of businesses which offer their employees the option to either vaccinate, be tested for COVID-19 at their own expense, or face termination has been a sore point for months, with government officials promising to investigate.

Premier Fahie previously disclosed that the issue of businesses enforcing a vaccination policy is a heavy legal matter and said Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley was examining this in tandem with Attorney General Dawn Smith.

There has been no known public update since he made that promise more than three months ago.

“I have my own personal views – but in this position where I am in – sometimes your personal views are not mutually aligned with the legal views. And you have to be guided by the legal views when you are in these positions. So, I have to wait until that comes out before I can speak to that full topic in terms of, with full legal knowledge and backing,” Premier Fahie said a few months ago.

The Premier continues to be a strong personal advocate for vaccination and constantly encourages persons to be part of the government’s vaccination outreaches in various communities.

Just recently, the Premier said there will be another vaccination drive-thru at the festival village in Road Town where persons can receive their first or second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This initiative continues today (Monday) and ends on Tuesday.

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