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Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says COVID-19 vaccination of frontline workers is not mandatory

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Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2021. 3:42 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: COVID-19 vaccination of frontline workers, including police officers, is not mandatory said Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in a memorandum to the entire Belize Police Department circulated on July 6.

Williams said he wanted to “dispel these rumors and that the Government of Belize has NOT implemented any such policy.”

The Commissioner also said that the testing of unvaccinated frontline workers as required by the new Statutory Instrument (SI) “if this policy were to be implemented the testing will be free of cost.”

The new Statutory Instrument says that “for the purposes of preventing, controlling, containing and suppressing the spread of the infectious disease COVID-19, every frontline worker who is not immunized by August 1, 2021, shall, every two weeks commencing August 1, 2021, present to that frontline worker’s employer, a negative rapid test or PCR Test on reporting to work.”

The SI further states that any frontline worker who fails to comply “shall be deemed absent from work and subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with any law that regulates the services of that frontline worker.”

The SI also says that the law does not apply to a frontline worker who has already received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Williams said he encourages all frontline workers to get vaccinated to help stop the spread and explained that the vaccines will “act as a shield preventing those of us who may become infected from being seriously ill.”

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