Transport Board puts the brakes on controversial vaccination policy

Bus drivers are among those who would be subject to the policy change
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By Theresa Goodwin

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The Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB) has shelved a plan to deny service to unvaccinated bus and taxi drivers and others applying to renew public service vehicle permits, until further notice.

Hubert Jarvis, the General Manager of ABTB, told Observer media that they are still working to determine how best to institute the policy.

The confirmation from Jarvis came days after a top official from the St John’s Taxi Association called on the statutory body to backtrack on its vaccination policy that was outlined in a memo dated August 9.

President of the St John’s Taxi Association, Patrick Burnette, told media last week that a public service permit has nothing to do with vaccination and the body would not be allowing it.

In the memo in question, the GM outlined that the decision to do business with only vaccinated public transportation operators was in keeping with a decision by the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has mandated that all frontline public sector workers must be vaccinated to guard against the virus, or undergo twice-monthly tests free of charge.

Bar and nightclub owners as well as gym operators are also required to ensure that only fully vaccinated patrons enter their premises.

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