St Mary Municipal Corporation sets COVID entry requirementWednesday, October 20, 2021
BY DAVIA ELLIS
PORT MARIA, St Mary — As of November 1, anyone physically attending meetings at the St Mary Municipal Corporation (SMMC) will need to provide proof of vaccination or provide a negative antigen test for COVID-19.
Port Maria's mayor and chairman of the SMMC Richard Creary made the announcement during last Thursday's monthly meeting of the corporation.
“We're looking at starting on the first of November. I am not about forcing anyone who does not want to take the vaccine, but I think we need to lead by example as the St Mary Municipal Corporation,” said Creary.
He also cautioned that, sooner or later, anyone requiring access to the building will need to present a COVID-19 vaccination card.
“The time might come where, to enter the St Mary Municipal Corporation gate you will have to be vaccinated. We are not there yet, but I think this is an important step in showing that we are being responsible and to send a signal to others that we need to be more responsible in terms of taking the vaccine,” Creary said.
He told his peers that those who are unable to provide proof of vaccination have the option to join meetings virtually.
Meanwhile, the corporation will continue to provide opportunities for staff to consult with local health authorities if they have any questions or concerns about being vaccinated. He stressed that the vaccines are safe.
“I can use myself as an example. I took the vaccine in March; I have had no adverse effects,” said Creary.
The move to have the parish's locally elected officials provide proof of vaccination mirrors the actions of central Government which required members of the Cabinet to be vaccinated to resume face-to-face meetings.
On October 11 the Cabinet deliberated in the same room for the first time in about 10 months.
In addressing the in-person meeting, Prime Minister Andrew Holness argued that the Government was taking the lead in showing the country what needed to be done to “live with COVID-19”. Vaccination is regarded as one vital plank in efforts to nudge the country back to normality.