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Final draft of Public Health Rules to be approved

Final draft of Public Health Rules to be approved
PRIME MINISTER Dr Ralph Gonsalves

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CABINET IS LIKELY to approve the final draft of the Public Health (Public Bodies Special Measures) Rules 2021, by this Wednesday September 29.

The rules will then be gazetted and become operational one month after publication.

“We’re going through the consultation process now. We’re hopeful… by Wednesday, we will approve the regulations finally which we had put out in draft form. I know there was a consultation with the Nurses Association. There was supposed to have been a consultation on Friday.

I believe it took place with the Public Service Union,” Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said while speaking on WE FM’s ‘Issues at Hand programme’ on Sunday.

The draft rules were published on August 27 for public consultation and discussion. It outlines the requirements for front-line workers as the government moves to enforce requirements for this sector of workers to either be vaccinated or tested regularly.

These rules also address exemptions from requirement for vaccination, and that failure to comply with rules constitutes misconduct.

The deadline for written submissions on these rules was September 8 at 4 p.m.

Gonsalves previously indicated that four submissions were made before the deadline; one from a journalist, two submitted by Customs officers and another from the local Nurses Association.

He also stated then that late submissions would be welcome as long as the process remained en train.

Elroy Boucher, the president of the Public Service Union told SEARCHLIGHT on September 9 — one day after the deadline -that the Union intended to make a submission.

The Prime Minister said on Sunday that another memorandum had been submitted and that “the technical people have taken all these into account”.

“I had a discussion on Thursday afternoon. I’m having one tomorrow (Monday, September 27) again with the technical persons,…the people in Health, legal draftspersons and the like and to take the final draft to Cabinet and hopefully before the end of this week, get it published in the gazette and within one month after it will become operational,” Gonsalves said.

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