Deputy Governor David Archer Jr has announced that there is an extension of the mask mandate at certain government offices with high public interaction.
Following Health Minister Marlon Penn’s recent announcement that the government will be removing the mask mandate in both public and private spaces, the Deputy Governor said in a statement on Tuesday, June 21 that discussions were held with senior leaders of the public service.
These talks concerned developing and instituting a mask policy for public officers and offices in the absence of a legal mandate.
Coming out of those meetings the Deputy Governor said: “For the next three to six months, considering the high interaction with the public, especially frontline support, receptionists and other officers who give direct and regular service to external clients, an extension of the mask policy will be implemented,” Archer Jr said.
The mask extension will apply to all courts in the territory, the BVI Post, the Civil Registry and Passport Office, Department of Information and Public Relations, Department of Labour and Workforce Development, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Department of Trade.
The extension also applies to the Deputy Governor’s Office Apostille Unit; the Environmental Health Division; Her Majesty’s Customs; the Immigration Department; the Inland Revenue Department; the Land Registry; law enforcement and Border control agencies; public health and healthcare services including but not limited to Environmental Health Division and Public Health Unit; schools and educational centres (announcement to be made by the Ministry of Education), social care services including senior homes and other residential facilities; the Survey Department; Treasury Department; and the Water and Sewerage Department.
The Deputy Governor added that the three-to-six-month period is not limited to, nor does it solely affect the offices listed. He said officers outside of the named offices are also allowed to continue wearing masks if deemed necessary for their safety and peace of mind.
Archer Jr also cautioned public officers to stay safe and to use discretional knowledge when interacting with co-workers and members of the public as COVID-19 is still an active pandemic.
“The health and safety of both the public and public officers remain a priority as the public service continues to remain flexible and adaptable as it relates to COVID-19 protocols,” the Deputy Governor said.
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