Public officers in Belize have until December 15 to show proof that they have been vaccinated against the covid-19 pandemic or face the risk of being marked absent from work and subject to disciplinary action.
A circular from the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, states that ‘” for the safety of all public officers and the public service, it has been decided that all essential workers and other public officers must be vaccinated by December 15, 2021”.
The circular said that as of that date, “all public officers must show proof that they have been vaccinated, either fully or first shot only.
“Managers are therefore advised that Rapid Test or PCR test will no longer be accepted. Failure to provide a copy of the Vaccination Card by 14 December 2021 will result in the public officer not being allowed into the office”.
The circular note also indicated “furthermore, the officer will be marked absent and will be subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with any law that regulates the service of that officer”.
In October, Prime Minister John Briceno had warned that by year-end that all the frontline workers will have to be vaccinated. He said, “We will have by the end of this year, one of our recommendations are, is that all the frontline workers will have to vaccinated.”
On Sunday, the director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Carissa Etienne, said it should be left to sovereign states to decide whether or not to enforce a mandatory covid-19 vaccination program for their population.
Belize has recorded 544 deaths and 29,105 positive cases of covid-19 dating back to March last year.