COVID-19 vaccines mandatory to transport passengers, enter public agencies

The Government of Guyana has mandated in its latest COVID-19 measures that any person who transports passengers by land, water or air should be vaccinated.

The order published on Friday noted that this provision also applies to minibus conductors. These persons are required to provide their vaccination card along with an identification document when requested to do so by a police officer or anyone authorized by the Minister of Health.

In addition, the Government has also included in its updated COVID-19 regulations that “members of the public who wishes to enter a Ministry of Government agency to access a service shall be vaccinated.”

It added that where the person is unvaccinated, they will require an appointment.

To tackle vaccine hesitancy, some organisations and companies have already began asking employees to undergo a compulsory PCR test for COVID-19 at every 14-21 days if they have not been vaccinated. This has however raised questions relating to who is required to pay for such tests since the Occupational Health and Safety Act provides for the companies to fund such programmes.

The Act notes that “if a worker participates in a prescribed medical surveillance programme undergoes prescribed medical examinations or tests, his or her employer shall pay (a) the worker’s costs for medical examinations or tests required by the medical surveillance programme or required by regulation.”

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony have also stated that the Government’s free PCR COVID-19 tests should be used by persons exposed to the deadly virus and not those required to test regularly by their work places.