By Staff Writer
The Government has introduced two pieces of legislation to be discussed by the public that, if agreed upon, will mean anyone applying for a work permit must have already been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Premier Wayne Panton announced the gazetting of The Immigration (Transition) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Customs and Border Control (Amendment) Bill, 2021 at a press briefing late last week and the public will be able to give their comments to the two Bills up until Sunday 3rd October 2021. This ten-day period is a reduced period of time for public consultation (the normal period is 28 days) because the Government said the issue was urgent.
The new legislation will require people hoping to work in Cayman on a work permit to provide documented evidence that they have either completed an approved Covid-19 vaccine course or pledge their willingness to undertake an approved vaccination course and comply with other instructions given by the Medical Officer of Health within a specific period.
This urgent move was part of Government’s plan to keep people’s health and safety at the forefront of all policy decisions relating to border opening, Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control & Labour Chris Saunders said a critical aspect of keeping people healthy was ensuring that a high percentage of the population was vaccinated against Covid-19.
The rules will apply to new expatriates seeking to work in Cayman and also existing ones looking to renew a work permit.
Government announced its intention to ensure work permit holders were vaccinated back in July when the Premier spoke at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.
Deputy Premier Saunders said: “As we see the deadly and overwhelming havoc that Covid outbreaks have had, and are currently having, on neighbouring countries in the region and on fellow UK Overseas Territories, it is important that we act swiftly in taking every precaution to protect our community.”