Media Release - Business Chambers Call for Safe Zones at Business Places and Public Buildings

AMCHAM T&T, the Energy Chamber and the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce continue to be concerned by the impact of the spread of COVID-19 on the society and economy. Over the almost two years that we have been dealing with the impact of the pandemic, the Joint Chambers have attempted to support the country’s response. As a collective and in partnership with other civic organisations, we have run vaccinations sites, developed and funded pro-vaccination campaigns and proposed various policy measures to assist in containing the spread of the virus while maintaining a reasonable level of economic activity.

Unfortunately, the virus continues to spread virtually unchecked throughout the population. Options for recreation and interaction are limited by public health measures, causing untold mental stress and the health services are under severe strain and in danger of being overwhelmed.

Despite the Government’s success in securing vaccines, vaccination rates remain low. The data from the Ministry of Health continues to show that nine of ten patients in hospital are unvaccinated. International data is showing that a third dose of the vaccine can reduce this number even further. Vaccination remains the single most effective tool we have in fighting the virus.

A few weeks ago, the Honourable Prime Minister outlined the approaches that the Government has taken over the past two years as well as additional measures taken by other countries. We also note with interest the Prime Minister’s comments in a recent interview, that the “government will have to do what is reasonable and feasible in order to give us the best protection in a pandemic.” On both occasions, he warned that if vaccination rates remain low, further action from the GORTT would be required. In the intervening period, there has been no significant increase in vaccination rates and high infection rates and numbers of deaths persist, unabated.

As such, the Chambers recommend the following to the Government:

1) Put in place the legal clarity to allow businesses to make their business places safe zones so that all employees (in both the public and private sectors), who do not have a medical reason not to be, must be vaccinated

2) Make all public buildings safe zones

The Chambers have already committed to the Ministry of Health that we will support additional efforts to vaccinate the population and administer boosters from January. We are open to providing other forms of support.

However, the time has come to take hard decisions in the interest of the wider population regarding vaccination. Trinidad and Tobago is in a crisis with regard to the continued rapid spread of the COVID 19 pandemic.

For further questions or comments please contact: Nirad Tewarie, CEO AMCHAM T&T at

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