PM Holness revealed that he won’t make it mandatory for Jamaicans to be vaccinated. The schools were closed 16 months ago and even though the Prime Minister assured the nation that he will allow people to choose what they want to do, he says the teachers who have not taken the jab, will be treated differently from the ones who took it.
Holness issued this warning on Monday as he made a push to reopen schools.
The unvaccinated teachers could be subject to testing to see if they are infected or not and they could be remunerated in a different way from the vaccinated teachers. However, discussions could be held with the teachers through the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA).
Holness disclosed this information while responding to questions asked by journalists during a press conference at Jamaica House.
He also used the occasion to announce the retightening of the COVID protocols, which were relaxed for a short time. The PM warned that in August the measures could be tightened further if he doesn’t believe it is safe to reopen schools in September.
After Jamaica recorded its first COVID-19 case in 2020 face to face classes in schools ended and the country has confirmed 52,000 cases and over 178 deaths since then.
There has been growing vaccine hesitancy around the world and a low amount of Jamaican essential workers got the COVID-19 vaccine.
In France, the Government enacted legislation to enforce mandatory vaccination and there has been demonstrations in the streets.
While, in the USA the Government is moving to make it mandatory for healthcare and other essential workers to take the vaccine. Unvaccinated essential workers in that country will be taking regular COVID-19 tests and they won’t be assisted financially.