BVI News

Gov’t exploring private sector anti-vaxxer layoffs

An aerial view of the local resort, Oil Nut Bay located on Virgin Gorda. (Google image)

The government is said to be exploring the matter of private companies terminating workers who have declined to take the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19.

A former Oil Nut Bay (ONB) worker, Gerand Vanterpool, alleged in a recent ZBVI interview that he was temporarily laid off at the resort because he failed to take the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The former housekeeper said this was after receiving a letter in March 2021 from the management of ONB imploring him to take the vaccine by March 30 or face being dismissed.

Failing to comply, Vanterpool said he was laid off for 90 days without pay and received no assistance from the Labour Ministry. The former ONB worker said he was told the layoff was his choice because he didn’t take the vaccine.

No choice but to resign

And at that point, Vanterpool said he had no choice but to resign. 

“I had to just move on – I had to just write up a resignation letter and just tell them I can’t sit down home for 90 days,” he said in the radio interview.

Vanterpool said he worked for seven months at ONB and is aware that others received the same letter. He claimed that no meetings were held before receiving the letter and said employees were told not to come to work unless they were vaccinated.

The resort has opted not to comment on the matter.

‘COVID-related Labour conflicts happening worldwide’

Questioned about the issue during press conference on Thursday, Premier Fahie said labour conflicts related to curbing the spread of COVID-19 is not unique to the BVI, and is happening worldwide.

And while describing the issue as a “heavy legal matter”, Fahie said Labour Minister Vincent Wheatly is exploring the issue in tandem with Attorney General, Dawn Smith.

The choice to vaccinate is a right

Premier Fahie said although he is a “full advocate” for vaccination, persons have the right of choice and he is mindful of that right.

“At the same time, whatever we can do to make sure that we reduce or eliminate the spreading of this deadly disease – especially with the new variants – that we do it,” he added.

Premier Fahie declined to comment further but said the ruling is still out on what to tell businesses. He then said a statement on the legal findings related to this matter should be expected in a few weeks.

“I have my own personal views – but in this position where I am in – sometimes your personal views are not mutually aligned with the legal views. And you have to be guided by the legal views when you are in these positions. So, I have to wait until that comes out before I can speak to that full topic in terms of, with full legal knowledge and backing.”

The government has repeatedly insisted that it will not make vaccination mandatory in the BVI. Instead, it actively encourages persons to take the AstraZeneca vaccines that are available in the territory to help curb the spread of the virus.

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61 Comments

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  1. Rubber Duck says:

    Change it and kiss goodbye to anything that’s left of the tourist industry.

    Like 16
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  2. Labour Code says:

    Section 135 is clear on this health issue in the work place so let’s move on. There is no reason to commence some kind of legal drama to interpret section 135. Lawyers here have enough work to do with the CoI, Mag. and High court backlogs, etc.

    Like 12
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    • @Labour Code says:

      What is clear about section 135 is that in no way does it explicitly or by implication empower an employee to mandate the taking of a vaccine (an experimental vaccine at that) by an employee in the course of ensuring a safe/healthy place of work for employees. The section specifically refers to a construction site which to me implies that in the course of ensuring a safe place of work for employees, the employer will ensure that no one can slip and fall or otherwise hurt themselves on the worksite. In terms of a healthy workplace, the employer would ensure that there are adequate restrooms, that the employees can take adequate breaks, that the workplace isn’t riddled with mold, that sort of thing. Is this particular employer, Oil Nut Bay mandating that their hotel guests are vaccinated? I am sure not! They are warmly welcoming guests vaccinated or not. That the unvaccinated guest would be made to quarantine for 7 days makes no difference as he or she can still spread covid after coming out of quarantine as can the vaccinated guest! Under the law as it currently stands in the BVI, there is no legal basis for an employer mandating the taking of the covid 19 vaccine and there certainly is no legal basis upon which the employer can lay off the employee if he determines not to take the vaccine. That lay off would be illegal. Read and understand the Labour Code! The AGs legal advice on the point will eventually confirm this.

      Like 24
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      • ... says:

        section 135 doesn’t only or specifically speak to construction sites, it INCLUDES construction sites in the category of work places.

      • redstorm says:

        I agree, the employee should not have resigned, after which he does not have a case. When the ninety days was over two things would have happen. Either he take the vaccine and return or send a letter to ask his employee for an update. The employer would had to extend the ninety days which he is hoping he did not have to do or fired the employee. so, the question, how long can an employer lay off an employee for the sake of COVID vaccine? indefinite, maybe ;as this comes into high risk for the employer. Do you know why he takes the 90 days options? in legal term, on day 91 he would have a problem, which he is hoping does not exist. His legal team would have given him that option with the hope that the employee do not return and then he is free from legal matters.

        Its a game player, how it is in analysis that the tourist comes without COVID certificate then quarantine for seven days. A chance of determination, but the employee get no chance of determination at the tourist request that they will only stay at hotels that have employee fully vaccinated. The tourist dollar is always fragile, so employers has to accommodate the tourist. For the love of money.

    • @Labour Code says:

      So are you saying that section 135 supports the Employer’s actions? If so you are totally wrong…please also note that constitutional principles prevail against the Labour Code if found inconsistent. It cannot be reasonable to say that having non-vaccinated staff in all circumstances is breaching section 135…when other more protocols have proved more effective than the vaccine. Perhaps if the vaccine had a higher rate of efficacy maybe…perhaps if it wasn’t rushed and only given emergency approval. Perhaps if you were not talking about existing employment contracts.

      Like 12
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      • Where to start? says:

        You are completely wrong on every point you made.

        The employer has the right to set employment conditions regarding safety and health if they are reasonable.
        The employer has the right to terminate your employment if you refuse to comply, none of your “human rights” are infringed, because you are free to refuse and lose your job.
        It’s so laughable your comment about other protocols being more effective.
        And the rate of efficacy? The three big ones, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have the highest efficacy rates seen in any vaccination programs, and surpass their expectations.
        What is holding us back is wilfull ignorance.

        Like 23
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      • Efficacy says:

        REUTERS: Public Health England said the estimated effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, invented at the University of Oxford, was 89% compared to unvaccinated people.

        That compares to 90% estimated effectiveness against symptomatic disease for the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), vaccine.

        “This new data highlights the incredible impact that both doses of the vaccine can have, with a second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine providing up to 90%…”

        ******* if you are thinking about getting the vaccine, please do not wait!!!
        Saturday May 22 is the best day to get your 1st so that you can get MAXIMUM BENEFIT for the 89 – 90% efficacy from the 2nd dose in 10 weeks time. *********************

        RITEWAY has Vaccine available from 10am Saturday May 22. It is FREE.

        Please for your protection, this is SO important!

        Like 6
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    • Pro-vaxxer says:

      I refuse to work with ignorant people who will endanger me and my family by not taking the vaccination which is recommended by Government. I have rights too and those who won’t or can’t understand reasoned scientific evidence don’t deserve a job in the tourist sector.

      Like 5
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      • Oh says:

        “The Government” you must be out your cotton picking mind!!

      • Future says:

        Calling someone ignorant because they refuse to take an experimental drug that has not been approved by the FDA, WHO (other than as an emergency), or ALL the international bodies that approved food and drugs can be highly questionable. If you are vaccinated, you should be safe, right? Why are you worried? Others have health issues and have been instructed not to take the vaccine, but you don’t care about them, do you? Are you that self-absorbed?

  3. SMH says:

    Even though it is One’s Choice, the Company should have had enough integrity and compliance by giving notice to its employees. This is mere bullying and discriminatory practices being forced onto employees by Employers. This is beyond the Slavery Mentality.’Do as I Say or you don’t Do at All’. Look what they turning Nature’s Little Secret into!😢😢😢

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  4. Vaccine says:

    No vaccine then no work. You don’t want to vaccinate that’s fine. But no business should be required to employ an unvaccinated person who can put other workers and their customers at risk. Don’t vaccinate and stay home!!

    Like 56
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    • @Vaccine says:

      You must be an idiot.
      1. That is not a vaccine.
      2. If it is, it has only received worldwide EMERGENCY authorisation. Do you know the difference?
      3. It does not prevent transmission of covid-19.
      4. It does not protect against other strains of covid-19.
      5. It does not prevent contraction of covid-19.
      6. It does not guarantee an individual will not have severe symptoms including death.
      7. It’s long terms side effects are not yet known and still being discovered.
      8. There is a risk of blood clots and those persons who are pre-disposed to same are not yet know or the factors for such pre-dispostion are not yet fully known.
      9. The most vaccinated country in the world (Seyechelles) is having a covid-19 spike right now. Chile which is heavily vaccinated is also seeing covid-19 spike.
      10. The vaccine does not guarantee business success or improved economy, it is only a hope.
      11. Not all tourists are pro-vaccine and there are those who will come irrespective of vaccination status.
      12. The un-vaccinated has the risk, not the vaccinate…so if the employer is taking on vaccinated tourists and they believe so much in the vaccine, why force the employee to be vaccinated?
      13. It is an unjustified form of discrimination in light of all circumstances.
      These are just a few in a myriad of reasons why the employer’s actions should be struck down by the Court as being UNFAIR and WRONGFUL!

      Like 31
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      • Rubber Duck says:

        All crap. Of course it prevents infection and transmission. Look at the results of vaccination in the UK and now the rest of Europe as they catch up.

        Enough with your amateur bush medicine. Sit down.

        Like 31
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        • Dr Magoo says:

          The only crap is the toxic waste in the syringe…

          Who tells you it prevents infection and transmission?
          How many of the current 33 ‘cases’ are ‘vaccinated’?
          Yes lets look at the results in the UK – AstraZeneca 786 Dead…
          @ Vaccine is correct, it is not a’vaccine’, the only immunity being given is to the pharmaceutical companies who are not liable for the deaths and injuries they cause.

          Follow the science: experimental gene therapy.

          Like 15
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          • Rubber Duck says:

            Don’t sit there making crap up that endangers the lives and livelihoods of your brothers and sisters.There are zero deaths from the vaccine reported from the UK. What is the source for this figure you quote?

            Of course infections from 60,000 a day to 2500 a day and deaths from 1800 to 7 have decreased in the UK because of the vaccine.

            Idiots like you are killing this place.

            Like 10
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          • @ Rubber Duck says:

            Why don’t you go on the VAERS website and see how many deaths have occurred since Jan 1, 2021. This info is public. The numbers rise each day but as the vaccine makers say these are justified casualties. They don’t even have the number of projected deaths that will occur. This is not Made up. BTW, these are just the deaths that occurred in the US. Imagine the rest of the world.

        • @Rubber Duck says:

          Look at Chile and Seychelles…how do we know we are getting the truth from the UK? Should we swallow all the information coming from UK…they after all are the makers…give yourself a human-nature break! The rest of Europe who have banned AstraZeneca?

          Like 9
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          • Rubber Duck says:

            Chile and Seychelles both used the Chinese vaccine which is clearly not as good as the others.

            Like 8
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        • rubber duck says:

          Youall feel so elite that it is not funny any more. The only thing this injection does (or claim to do) is prevent positives from getting critical or even dying. The proof of this also being a lie is coming out one by one.
          Can’t believe how so many people who suppose to have sense get brain wash to this effect.

          Like 9
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          • Rubber Duck says:

            Compared to some of the brain dead posting on here ,Dumb and Dumber are the elite.

            Like 5
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          • Dr Magoo says:

            Fake News Duck with Rubber Brain.

            The Seychelles has been using both AstraZeneca (Covishield) 43% and Sinopharm 57%. Chile has been using mostly CoronaVac, anyhow you are spreading fake information. They are all experimental and unapproved (emergency use only).

            This is the largest medical experiment ever conducted, no matter which of the concoctions you take, you are a lab rat, in fact at this stage we are all lab rats.

            Clearly you have zero knowledge of the situation in the UK. AstraZeneca – Total Reactions: 650,681 Total Reports: 175,057 Total Deaths: 786

            Why is there no record being published of the reactions to AstraZeneca here?

            https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987644/AstraZeneca_analysis_print_12052021.pdf

            Follow the science: experimental gene therapy.

            Like 4
            Dislike 1
        • redstorm says:

          @ rubber duck,

          Before the toxic medicine, there was bush medicine. So please stand up. The world has gone totally mad, and this little island is follow suit. Please let me why would someone take a toxic medicine for a disease they don’t have? and justify it as a way of prevention.

        • SMH says:

          I only see that he stated facts based on what was stated by the same ones telling you to get vaccinated. None of the COVID 19 vaccines have been approved other than as an emergency. Non are approved as they are still going through trials of which WHO has stated will not be completed until 2024. Keep your experimental drug. You make decisions on your body and allow others to do what they want with theirs.

      • Right. says:

        Your, #8 point is a secret to many. Because many are having blood clots and have to deal with all the expense of getting better. To all ladies under 50 years of age. Make it your business to research the chance of getting the vaccine.

  5. Hitler says:

    Welcome to the new N a z i Germany

    Like 14
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  6. tim says:

    that is how you define slavery ???

    “.’Do as I Say or you don’t Do at All’

    This explains so much ….

    Like 9
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  7. @Vaccine says:

    Me again…if the employee has an adverse reaction to the vaccine…is the employer prepared to pay personal injury compensation?

    Like 22
    Dislike 7
  8. @Vaccine says:

    If you are vaccinated again something how is someone who has not vaccinated a risk to you? Can you explain this to me, please?

    Like 20
    • 007 says:

      OK. The unvaccinated person catches the disease. The place of business is shut down. The other staff are laid off. Customers are quarantined. There is no revenue. Got it?

      Like 15
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      • @007 says:

        Stop with your damn slippery slope argument because the same thing can happen to a vaccinated person!

        Like 14
        Dislike 3
        • 007 says:

          A vaccinated person is 100 times less likely to catch it.

          Wtf do you clowns think the point of vaccination is?

          It stops you catching the disease.

          Like 3
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      • 008 says:

        Don’t fool yourself that the vaccinated person can also catch covid and transmit it and pass it to others who are vaccinated or not.

        People are not stupid anymore

        Like 8
        Dislike 3
    • Probably pointless, but... says:

      Let’s try this one more time, maybe someone will open their ears.
      Vaccination allows you to get a jumpstart on fighting the infection, which is PROVEN to keep your viral load down to the point where serious disease IN YOU is extremely unlikely. If you cannot understand this or the masses of real world evidence backing this up, you are hopeless.

      NEXT – it’s not just about you, it’s the people who are unable to be vaccinated. those with immune suppression or allergic responses. How do we protect them?
      By lowering the circulating amount of virus, which is ONLY possible when enough of the population has either been vaccinated or survived the disease that the majority of people are suppressing the viral replication, so there is simply so little of the virus circulating that it becomes extremely unlikely that those unprotected people encounter it.
      Remember, the virus can’t survive outside of us, we are the hosts and replicators and spreaders, therefore WE are where the fight has to occur.

      We do have one choice though…mass vaccination or letting it run wild until everyone has had it.

      Since all the best available data points to 1 death per million vaccinations vs 18 THOUSAND deaths per million COVID cases, I think the choice should be very clear.
      My question, is how bad are your arithmetic skills that you think 1 death is better than 18 thousand?

      Like 15
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      • Future says:

        On your second point, If the employer is requiring you to be vaccinated and you CANT get the vaccination because it may kill you, then how can you work?

  9. PSA says:

    BUSINESS OWNERS HAVE A RIGHT TO ASK THERE EMPLOYEES TO BE VACCINATED. IF THEY CHOSE NOT TO GET VACCINATED, THAT IS THEIR CHOICE. BUT THEY HAVE TO SEEK EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE.

    Like 22
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    • @PSA says:

      Read the damn labour code and the constitution!! You must be living pre-1834 or in Nazi Germany. Even the Government who legally may have that right is subject to the Will of the People and the RULE OF LAW. No other vaccine has been made mandatory…why this? Because y’all god is mammon.

      Like 7
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      • Mandatory vaccinations BVI already has this! says:

        Actually — YES — BVI Government Department of Immigration and Labour already have mandatory vaccinations required and have had so for many many years.

        Like 4
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      • " @@PSA says:

        “No other vaccine has been made mandatory”
        Has there been a change in mandatory vaccinations for children to start school?
        Also, some countries require vaccination against specific diseases
        in order to enter. Is this a thing of the past?

    • PSA says:

      The same way business owners should have a right to dictate how much children I get, and tell me whether to use a condom, pill, diaphram or what birth control method I should take. Why not dictate how often an individual should sex too.

      The evil in this and all of you going bring a big flood on earth so it can start all over.

      Like 7
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  10. heckler says:

    Its obvious now that the people of district 9 have no representation at all

    Like 14
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  11. Question says:

    All this crap about section 135 and keeping people safe, so why the employees have to be vaccinated, but not the guests? Is section 135 lopsided?

    Like 5
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  12. For all the Pro-Vaxxers says:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reckless-rush-to-reopen-threatens-chiles-exemplary-vaccination-strategy/
    Proves the vaccine is NOT a panacea…all the more reason for it to remain OPTIONAL!!!!

    Like 5
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  13. #1 question says:

    The first question the tourist companies are getting is, “Are all your employees vaccinated for the Covid virus?” You say no, they go elsewhere. Get a job in Government if you don’t want to take the vaccine.

    Like 8
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  14. @ Rubber dick says:

    ARE YOU AN EXPERT / AM NOT BUT IF IT HELPS TO PREVENT ONE WAY AND CREATE SIDE EFFECTS WHICH NO SCIENTIST CAN SAY FOR SURE WHAT TYPE AND HOW MANY OTHER TYPES OF SIDE EFFECTS ARE YET TO BE REVEALED / CAN YOU PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US WITH THE REAL FACTS ( as U sit UP )

    Like 1
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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Oh ffs, how dim are you? 100 million have had the AZ vaccine . There are no serious side effects and infection rates have fallen dramatically everywhere it , and the other vaccines save the less effective Chinese vaccine, have been used.

      Like 3
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  15. my view says:

    This covid vaccine for and against issue is something that is being raised globally. We are not in the era where we just take whatever is thrown on us. I know of medical doctors who refuse to take it.

    What I cannot understand is why why why would an unvaccinated person be a threat to a vaccinated person who is suppose to be immune. has the word immune change its definition.

    So for these hi end hotels who claim their guests what only vaccinated people dealing with them. How do you know that your guests are vaccinated. Where these same guests travel from and live, they are in contact with countless persons who are not vaccinated. Can they demand that their supermarket cashier be vaccinated in their countries?

    Every government is pushing and doing whatever is necessary to incite fear and push their vaccine. Whatever COVAX has promised them or threatened the world governments with, the little man may never know.

    I say this, no one knows the long term effect of this vaccine. A dead thing don’t stink right away, in time it swells and decompose, so get out of here about what your symptoms upon taking the jab were.

    Listen to what other people are reporting, but the vaccine boomers will not report it. Women period stop and some who never had a problem having abnormal menstruations. People who had no severe medical history are now shaking all over the place and facial lock jaw.

    Let people be. This is my body. The vaccine that you took should protect you, so leave me alone in Jesus name.

    OK it is claimed that a small percentage have blood clots. That small percentage could have been you but for God’s grace so all of you glorious vacciners society, get off your blasted high horses.

    Finally, the Astrazeneca is only effective in your body for 3 months for each shot. You are not immune for life. So please stop talking piss about you are fully vaccinated.

    Like 13
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    • 007 says:

      Listen , you rely on Jesus to keep you safe and I will rely on the vaccine.

      Like 3
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      • 007 says:

        remember your words. yours is the only comment that prove what this whole cosmic evil is all about. We no longer need Jesus. we need the vaccine. So once the whole world start to praise the vaccines and not the Lord Jesus Christ, the gates of hell will prevail against us. May the same God you dont need have mercy on you because its only He you will be crying out to. Hope he answers

        Like 3
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  16. Class Suit in the Offing says:

    All employees threatened, coerced, and eventually dismissed from employment due to the covid-19 vaccine, you need to form a group, register all members, and find a lawyer who will take up your winning case. This will turn into a class-action suit. Taking a vaccine, and a trial or experimental as this vaccine is a matter of personal choice – a human rights issue. Because the BVI covid cases is one of the best in the Caribbean there is no threat coming from the residents. The danger is being introduced from the tourists who are coming from countries with bad covid cases. This case is winnable in any court and those who are unjustly treated with termination from employment should be compensated.

    Like 13
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    • Doctor No says:

      Best of luck with that. You might as well try to sue employers who insist employees wash their hands before serving customers.

      Like 6
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  17. Anonymous says:

    A class action law suit do seem winnable. Hope they take it up seriously.

    On the other hand, what’s new with the Mzungu when it comes to dishing out discrimination?

    The real truth is, if they could get away with it today, they would work those people behind off and not pay them a red cent, vac or no vac.

  18. Wickedness says:

    What about employees that are working one day per week
    A d the boss get no intention to increase the work days
    And now threaten to fire all who are not vaccinated
    My boss want to everybody to resign so she won’t have to pay severance
    The can just pack up close the business and leave on vacation leaving the employees to wonder where there next meals, rent money, bills money etc coming from
    And labour doing nothing about it

  19. Open your ears says:

    The unvaccinated are not a significant threat to the vaccinated.
    BUT THEY ARE A THREAT TO THE OTHER UNVACCINATED>
    Go ahead, you and your family stay unvaccinated and we’ll line the streets as your Mama passes by in the Davis hearse with you following along behind crying and cursing that it’s all a hoax.
    We’ll be the ones clapping.

    Like 2
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  20. Full support says:

    The resorts that are requiring their staff to get vaccinated have the right to protect their investment. The tourists who make up most of their customer base are already vaccinated and want to be around other guest and hotel staff who are also vaccinated. Charter boat captains are calling around local restaurants and asking if their staff is vaccinated. If they are not, the tourists wont come. This is mostly about business and the health and safety of guests and staff. Nothing else. Get with the companies program or resign.

    Like 3
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  21. Lester says:

    For those of you in the BVI who are refusing to take the jab/shot. Don’t be stupid and wait until you get Covid. In America we have 586,000 dead from Covid, Tortola had 1 death, you could be next. Just wait until you get the disease. You would wish you had gotten the Jab. When you are on a Ventilator and your life is on the line you really can’t do anything for yourself some people survive some don’t so go ahead and pick you choice.

    Like 1
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  22. @Dr Magoo says:

    What is that link you posted? It is wholly unattributed. I hope I didn’t get a virus from opening that garbage. SMH

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