Welcome news for the “safe zones” initiative
I have noted with interest that the government’s decision to implement a “safe zones” initiative has received broad support and praise from the business community, especially chambers of commerce.
However, some employers, including Peter George of Trent Restaurants Ltd, have expressed concerns about certain aspects of the initiative.
However, George can rest assured that this vaccination mandate will remove the issue of mandatory vaccination of employees and even customers from the employer’s hands, as no unvaccinated person will be allowed to participate in these high-risk activities.
I am sure that this will be supported, presumably, by subsidiary law. There is no other way to implement such a vaccination mandate.
There is no quagmire. This initiative is in line with global “best practices”. Citizens must understand that the whole world is at war with a common enemy. This enemy is very deadly, adaptive, and invisible to the naked eye.
We also face an enemy within, as the actions of anti-vaccines have not been helpful, despite overwhelming scientific evidence and the reality of the lethal impact of the disease, especially the morbidity and mortality of the unvaccinated. , among others.
It is as if we are living in a lost episode of the Twilight Zone TV series from the 1960s. All other employers and employees / unions have to accept that we live in another time and space. In this context, therefore, there can be no status quo.
Once there is a government vaccination mandate (i.e. a change in the law), the labor court will need to adapt its judgments / decisions to accommodate this new reality. The president of the Labor Court recently expressed a similar opinion.
Employers in this new exemption will be protected from liability because, by law, they will not be able to affect someone, whether their current workforce or otherwise, who is not vaccinated, to work in the security zones of their operations.
Additionally, if no comparable position is available elsewhere in the organization that by law would allow unvaccinated employees to perform their duties, the employer can legitimately terminate / terminate such employees.
The unvaccinated, except those with legitimate medical and / or religious reasons, should not be allowed to ransom the rest of the world, including TT. The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights, and no effort should be spared by governments to preserve this right.
Freedom is not anarchy. No one has the right to do whatever they want without considering the likely impact of their actions on others. As a result, it is blatantly obvious what the choice would be if we had to choose between the evil of the unvaccinated and the life and livelihoods of the rest of us.
Some employers have questioned the rationale for more stringent requirements for those operating in security zones, compared to other areas of the economy, such as supermarkets, where unvaccinated staff and customers are allowed to carry out checks. transactions subject to normal covid19 protocols.
The answer is simple. Take, for example, a restaurant. You cannot eat or drink without removing your mask. It is therefore obvious that the risk of contracting and transmitting the disease is much greater in this environment.
I agree with George, and some other employers operating in security zones, that the curfew hours should be relaxed, perhaps to start at midnight, in order to facilitate the best conduct of business operations, given the peak period / times for such Activities.
I also agree that the ban on serving alcoholic beverages should be removed. Many people who dine out naturally have alcoholic beverages with their meals. Additionally, most people who frequent bars do so to consume alcoholic beverages as part of their regular routine.
Also, I think if the ban is lifted there will likely be a big increase in vaccinations given our cultural norms, as most men go to the bar at least once a week to bond / meet. friends around alcoholic drinks. as essential.
Concerns have been expressed by some employers about the inconvenience of their clients having to show immunization cards in safe areas. Do we not already have to make other forms of identification available (eg a national identity card) when transacting certain types of businesses?
We must constantly remind ourselves that we live in a pandemic world and that our lives are at stake. We must take all measures to protect our lives. However, I have observed that the government is considering adopting an electronic / digital solution.
The success or failure of the initiative will depend on the extent to which our fellow citizens are ready to give their unwavering support / full cooperation to this endeavor. Remember that our lives are at stake.