by JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates
The upper echelons of the Argyle International Airport management team are making the necessary moves to adopt and comply with the Dr. Ralph Gonsalves-led administration’s current vaccination and COVID-19 testing policy.
A memo – supposedly signed by Lyda Ollivierre the acting Chief Executive Officer, dated November 11 and addressed to the airports’ “concessionaires” –attempted to bring the vendors up to speed with the new policy position in their regard.
Earlier this year the Argyle International Airport adopted a vaccinated only policy towards authorized AIA taxi operators and approximately halved the numbers of taxi drivers who plied their trade at SVG’s main port of entry/exit.
The November 11 missive informed vendors at all local airports: “All persons employed at an airport or who carry out duties at the Argyle International Airport Inc. must comply with the [Public Heath (Public Bodies Special Measures) Rules 2021] commencing November 19.”
These “Special Measures” include a compulsory vaccination requirement as this subset of the AIA community is now being described as frontline workers.
“Each person employed or who carry out duties at Argyle International, J.F Mitchell, Canouan and Union Island Airports shall be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 with at least the first dose in the case of a vaccine that requires two doses by November 19, 2021. Proof of vaccination must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) by November 19, 2021”, the memo read in part.
The note also detailed two instances in which affected parties “may apply for and be granted an exemption from the requirement for vaccination.” A medical practitioner – approved by the Medical Officer of Health – can issue a written certificate that must state the “medical ground” on which s/he has advised the person concerned against taking any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Additionally, if a person “objects in good faith and in writing that vaccination is contrary to his religious beliefs and the employer is able to make alternative arrangements to accommodate the employee.
“The employee must provide specific details of that religious belief in order to be granted an exemption under this category.”
“Any person employed or who carry out duties at Argyle International, J.F. Mitchell, Canouan and Union Island Airports granted an exemption from vaccination shall present to the AIA Inc. a negative rapid test of PCR test at a frequency stipulated in the exemption and must comply with any other conditions stipulated until the Ministry of Health declares that the public emergency has ended.”
It also warned that any employee or vendor at any of the airports “who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with the requirements… may not enter the workplace.”
Further any such person(s) who insist on entering the workplace beyond November 19 would be slapped with misconduct charges “and is liable to have their airport security access pass withdrawn.”
Meanwhile Dr. Godwin Friday Opposition Leader and President of the New Democratic Party criticized the government for its current “wrong headed policy” as he believes the jab or be fired approach would ultimately lead to more economic hardship.