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Jul 19, 2021

Will G.O.B. Reconsider Cost of COVID Tests to Frontline Workers?

Section eleven (one) of Statutory Instrument number seventy-four that was passed earlier this month has drawn concerns among some government workers who do not want to take the COVID vaccine.  The new S.I. requires all frontline workers to get vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test result every two weeks, starting August first.  A number of these employees have expressed via social media that the requirement will place undue burden to their pockets if they have to foot the expense of these tests, especially at a time when they are on a ten percent salary cut.  But under sub-section three of that requirement, any frontline worker who fails to comply with this regulation will be considered absent from work and subject to disciplinary action in tandem with any law that regulates the services that they render.  Word reaching News Five is that the Ministry of Health and Wellness might be reviewing this requirement, but there are no details laid out just yet.  Since this is something that would likely have to be considered by cabinet, it remains to be seen if anything changes this week, with July quickly coming to an end.  At last check, the lowest price for a COVID test was one hundred dollars within the government healthcare system and seventy-five dollars at Belize Healthcare Partners. The test is administered free, however, to people who have flu-like symptoms and go to public clinics for treatment.

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