High Court denies injunctions to prevent  Gov’t from implementing vaccination policy

Justice Fidela Corbin Lincoln has denied two interim injunctions against the Government’s vaccination policy for three Unions suing the State. The case was filed by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), and the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC). The Unions represents thousands of public service employees.

The Unions had sought an injunction preventing the State from implementing the requirement that public servants show proof of vaccination against the Coronavirus or produce a recent negative PCR test result at their own expense.

They were also seeking an interim injunction forcing the State to bear the cost for regular COVID-19 testing for employees of the State until the court determines an application to the legality of Government’s COVID-19 Emergency Measures published in the Official Gazette.

The High Court is yet to hear the substantive case filed by the Unions in which they are contending that the COVID-19 Emergency Measures relies on an unconstitutional grant of authority to former President David Granger who issued the first measure in March 2020. As such, the Unions contend that the Emergency Measures are invalid and void of effect.

Guyana has been seeing a rise in COVID-19 deaths and cases. In response, the Government has mandated that any person wishing to enter a public building must be vaccinated. Unvaccinated persons seeking entry into these buildings must present a recent negative PCR test.

According to the COVID-19 Emergency Measures, a public building refers to a building to which the public has lawful access and includes both privately and publicly-owned buildings. The Government’s latest COVID-19 policy has sparked protests across the country.