Dr Wheatley was at the time speaking during an Friday, June 11, 2021, interview with 284 Media to clear up misconceptions after an article from that media house had incorrectly reported that the Government will implement a mandatory vaccination policy for teachers in the territory.
According to Dr Wheatley, “At no time throughout our tenure as leaders in this territory during this COVID-19 pandemic, have we taken the position that vaccines should be mandatory, and that remains the case,” he said.
“As long as COVID-19 is going on, we will not mandate vaccines for anyone because it’s your body and you should be able to choose what goes in your body,” the Deputy Premer went on to say.
Dr Wheatley said that while vaccine education will be pushed and the taking of vaccine incentivized, he said the Government has outright refused to have vaccination be mandatory.
Hon Wheatley further revealed that the Government is now is exploring a testing regime for unvaccinated frontline workers in the territory, however, teachers will not be a part of the new regime.
“Frontline workers do not include teachers, and this is a cabinet decision that came with a policy paper. If you examine the policy paper you will certainly not see teachers in that policy paper, so that certainly is a misunderstanding before any public announcement is made,” he said.
Hon Wheatley said the testing regime will use COVID-19 rapid tests for unvaccinated frontline workers, to ensure unvaccinated persons especially in the hospitality sector do not have COVID-19 and pose a risk to guests.