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Resort group tells staff to vaccinate or face twice monthly COVID tests

Resort group tells staff to vaccinate or face twice monthly COVID tests

Staff at the Leverick Bay Resort and Marina, the Leverick Restaurant, Virgin Gorda Villas, and The Chief's Pantry were given an ultimatum to either vaccinate for COVID-19 or be subjected to third party COVID-19 testing out of pocket every 14 days, or be laid off for an initial period of 90-days should they not accept the policy.

In a May 5, 2021, letter seen by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), written by Company Director and Founder Christina Yates, staff were given an option to either follow the policy or be laid-off in the interest of protecting both staff and guests.

May 15, 2021 deadline given


"In the interest of preserving the health and safety of all of our staff and guests and doing our best to maintain a safe work environment, we ask that you provide us with proof of the first vaccine done by May 15, 2021," it said.

The letter went on to say, "I refer to section 135 of the BVI Labour Code which speaks to the duties of the employer and our responsibility for everyone's safety."

Persons who refuse to get vaccinated by May 15, 2021, can provide certification of a Negative COVID-19 test instead.

"Holders of a Negative COVID test who decide not to take the vaccine will need to provide proof of Negative RT-PCR Test every 14 (14) days. Cost of the testing will be borne by the employee. Failure to receive proof of at least the first dose of the vaccine and no Negative PCR test will result in a 'Lay off Notice,' employees were told.

The letter said 90 says will be provided in the first instance to allow employees to weigh their options relating to the advantage or disadvantages of taking the vaccine or being tested every 14 days.

In a May 5, 2021, letter seen by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) written by Christina Yates, the founder of the group, she told staff that they now have a choice to either follow the policy or be laid-off.


Companies making similar moves


The letter has surfaced just as another company, Oil Nut Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda, had told its staff to either vaccinate or be laid off for 90 days; however, Oil Nut Bay Resort did not give its staff an option of regular COVID-19 tests.

With both companies referring to Section 135 of the VI Labour Code, 2010, subject Minister Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) told VINO on Thursday, May 6, 2021, that any complaint should be sent to the Labour Department.

Vaccination has not been made mandatory by the Government of the Virgin Islands.

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