Civil service drags feet on vax mandate for expats

| 22/11/2021 | 87 Comments
Cayman News Service
Acting Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon at Thursday’s press briefing

(CNS): Although many public servants are on the front line of efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19, dozens are still unvaccinated. However, there is no sign of a vaccine mandate for expatriate government employees working in healthcare, border control, education and other support services. Government has said it will not implement a mandate for Caymanians in the private or public sectors.

But after changing the law to require all work permit holders to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 before new or renewed permits are approved, the government had hoped that the same mandate would be rolled out for contract and non-Caymanians across the public sector.

Acting Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon said at last week’s press briefing that the proposal for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate was under review but the civil service was also trying to persuade its employees to get their shots.

“We are actively reviewing policies that would be necessary to give effect to a vaccine mandate for non-Caymanian civil servants that would be aligned to the national policy that has already been adopted for work permit holders,” she said. “Otherwise, the emphasis continues to be… public education for our civil servants, including our front-line employees, as well as continued priority access to vaccines and bespoke vaccine clinics.”

McField-Nixon said that the vaccine levels across the public sector were high, though she did not reveal the actual percentage of public sector workers who have not yet been vaccinated against this coronavirus. She also implied that the idea of forcing contract workers to get their shots might not happen.

“Our vaccine levels within the civil servants are high and continue to climb… including on the front lines,” she said. “The policy consideration right now is looking at whether we would be matching the mandate that already exists for work permit holders in the private sector.”

Premier Wayne Panton recently said he hoped that the civil service would adopt the policy to help increase Cayman’s vaccination levels, given the increasing spread of the virus.

Public concerns remain over the decision not to roll out a vaccine mandate for everyone in front-line jobs, especially healthcare and education. The vaccination rate among healthcare workers is said to be well over 80%, the rate is thought to be lower for other very public facing staff. Reports suggest that at Customs and Border Control, less than 70% of the staff have had their shots.

While there are understandable calls for vaccine mandates for front-line workers, a considerable number of people still oppose vaccination mandates for a variety of reasons, including anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and religious objections.

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Category: Health, Medical

Comments (87)

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  1. Vaccinated Civil Servant says:

    Its a pity CNS could not have printed this headline “GMN stutters at C.S.Vax mandate as 100% C.S.expats already vaccinated” …

    All unvaccinated in my “section” are all Caymanians … #ButTheyDontWantToTalkAboutIt …

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone provide one good reason why Caymanians are not mandated to take the vaccine? They are susceptible to all the same symptoms as non-caymanians and can pass and receive Covid just the same. Discrimination at it’s worst and utterly blatant.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know if it’s a good reason, but a big reason is simply that there is no legal framework that would make it easy to introduce such a mandate. Whereas it is relatively simple to add it as a condition for work permit holders.

      • Anonymous says:

        Take a look at Austria , as easy as passing a law. Much easier to be divisive and xenophobic for people who add value to this lovely place as opposed to upset the small pool of voters smh

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, look at the rioting in Europe over various kinds of mandates and then tell us again how Caymanians are somehow different.

          You have clearly missed the point that Austria is instituting an unenforceable mandate. Good luck dragging people into the street to jam a needle in their arm, as the European news commentators put it last night.

          Signed: Vaccinated Caymanian

          • Anonymous says:

            Caymanians are only keyboard warriors. Nothing to fear here.

            Cut off CIG salaries for unvaccinated civil servants and order them home.

            This is not rocket science.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought our civil service legal framework was based on the UK system. If it works in London no legal reason why it cannot work here for our civil servants.

        Stop finding excuses for such nonsense. Just requires political will.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bravo 9:58! You bring the refreshing viewpoint of a logical critical thinker to this thread.

    • Anonymous says:

      One good reason: Caymanians are entitled. Simple as that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians should have some entitlement…it’s their country…you’re a guest!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, and Caymanians are servants of the Queen. We are a colony.

          You are not a country. Obviously you never learned that at school.

          • Anonymous says:

            Well, have the Queen grant you Caymanian Status then!?

          • Anonymous says:

            Servants of the Queen? SERIOUSLY? Did you learn that at school? When? 1700’s or watching some dusty old movies on TV?
            Colony? What rock did you just crawl out from under? Now designated “British Overseas Territory”. Perhaps now that schools have electric lights and internet and books rather than lanterns and scrolls, you might want to return to fill in the gaps.

        • Anonymous says:

          ‘Caymanians should have some entitlement’

          What? With the lives of others? Are you serious?

        • Whoa Nelly... says:

          The logic behind your argument doesn’t hold water.

          Imagine if there were only Caymanians in Cayman. A vaccine mandate for frontline workers still makes a lot of sense.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Because they can vote

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone stopped for a second and thought “hmm maybe it’s a phased approach and they are starting with expats as they have more leaving options if need be” or anything along those lines lmao no? Just wanna be upset and angry? Alright 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Civil service should lead if they are going to guide or direct.
    Civil service should practice what they preach.
    If work permit holders are mandated then automatically expatriate civil service falls into that group. Common sense.
    Actually they should have done in a diff way. All to work in or enter public places must have vaccine passport or evidence of antibodies.
    For unvax where to enter and where to work and how to behave etc as even vaxed are dangerous to them as vaxed can transmit.
    Confusion management.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am very surprised that the Governor has not done anything to urge the Deputy Governor to move expeditiously with getting the civil service vaccinated particularly those on the front lines.

    I would be curious to know if the Deputy Governor and his deputy are vaccinated. Maybe they are two of the biggest anti-vaxxers we have in Cayman and that is the reason they won’t make a decision. They are surely not doing anything to encourage or mandate that the largest employer(the civil service) gets their employees vaccinated.

    The elected Government has been doing all it can to get people vaccinated and this flies in the face of their efforts. The Premier does not have the power to force the Deputy Governor to make a decision but this foot dragging by the Deputy Governor should be brought to the forefront and put on the record in the next meeting of Parliament. How can he head up the Programme Board and have unvaccinated people dealing with out visitors arriving after he had mandated that they be vaccinated. Somebody needs to call him out. Caymanian or not, this Caymanian is fed up with his indecisiveness and poor leadership.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The issue is that its not the ex-pats not getting vaccinated. There take up is VERY HIGH. So mandating makes little difference, as its the Caymanians, advised by their hypocratic preachers that are the problem. So no point mandating ex-pats get vaccinated.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s really no point in mandates for anyone and never was a solid rational for them. The vaccine is extremely leaky. A mandate will not protect you from an infected vaccinated person, nor will it reduce infection to any level remotely close to eradication or even low level infection in the case of SARS Cov2.

      So basically what the government did with their current mandate is show what they are willing to do to ex-pats without any solid scientific justification. More abhorrent is they did it excluding a cohort that would most definitely spread it amongst themselves anyway even if the vaccine worked perfectly. There literally is no logic behind it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many teachers from a large neighbouring island are not vaccinated.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hang on a minute…? Are we saying when they passed the rule that all work permit holders have to be vaccinated, it didn’t include government employees?

    Just make the vaccine compulsory for god’s sake and watch the spread and hospital admissions drop!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Keep tiptoeing. The very second you tread on children’s toes, you will feel the whirlwind.
    There will be no more nebulous “they”.

    • Hubert says:

      COVID in Cayman only kills fully vaccinated tourists with antigen tests taken just before they arrive here.

      And they will be fined $10,000 if they do not get 3 more tests in their first 10 days here.

      The only threat here are the chronically stupid unvaccinated Caymanians but let’s go after the tourists and expats. Blame them because it is so easy.

      This is a disgrace and all Caymanians should be ashamed.

    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      Get tough Gloria. No vaccination CIG civil servant, then stay home with no pay or find another job.

      Stop being namby pamby. Just look what is happening in Europe now.

      The same thing can happen here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It would be News if they weren’t dragging their feet on anything. Are they back at “work” yet?

  9. Confused says:

    For gods sake mandate for all. Not Caymanians?
    What is the point of that? To begin with its just wrong to say it, its blatant discrimination.
    Sit around a table and make a correct decision then put it out. Don’t think Caymanian is an excuse to not vaccinate please.
    This thing doesn’t discriminate nor should you.
    If they all vaccinate and Caymanian don’t then where are we going with this?
    Do people have to start dying first?
    Ive seen enough of this lot in power already trust me.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ‘lot in power’ cannot dictate to the civil service what they should or shouldn’t do. The Civil Service is under the Governor and delegated to the Deputy Governor who doesn’t have the balls to make to make a decision or tell the civil service to get vaccinated. By his own indecisive behavior continues to undermine the Government’s objective in getting the people of this country vaccinated. Having people on the front lines unvaccinated is nothing short of irresponsible on his part.

      The government, in my opinion, should make some serious moves to try to get rid of some of this dead and useless weight. They are resistant to change and are happy to sit there and not rock the boat while collecting their big fat salaries. When I heard her say what she said at the last press conference, I really made me angry. It’s the same old thing they always say, “we are considering it.” Just an excuse to avoid answering the question.

      It’s time for fresh blood at the top of the civil service and hopefully some people that are not afraid to make tough decisions when the time comes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fresh blood does not make it to the top of the civil service.

        Same old, same old that are sat there to vegetate, marinate and frustrate policy with the full blessing any Governor (save 1) and the UK.

      • Anonymous says:

        The time has come for the Governor to show real leadership skills on the mandated vaccination issue.

        The question for the Governor is, if mandates are good for the United Kingdom then why not the Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so ignorant. You do not need an ‘excuse’ not to vaccinate it is a choice. A choice you may not agree with but still a choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      People have a right to what they put in their bodies and that includes vaccines. Mandates are creepy AF.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gloria is an expert at “civil servant speak”

    Actively reviewing … smh

    • Anonymous says:

      It is the old game of straddiling the fence, do not say anything to rock the boat and upset your cushy high paying, loaded with benefit do nothing job. These people are all profesional of the double talk. Just more bull%#it from the same old crowd.Nothing will ever be done except give themselves a raise and more benefits.

    • Anonymous says:

      She left out “paradigm” and “strategies”.

    • Anonymous says:

      That just means that someone sent an email about six weeks ago which made passing reference to it but no one has responded just yet.

  11. Anonymous says:

    55 years…

    Reuters) – Freedom of Information Act requests are rarely speedy, but when a group of scientists asked the federal government to share the data it relied upon in licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the response went beyond typical bureaucratic foot-dragging.

    As in 55 years beyond.

    That’s how long the Food & Drug Administration in court papers this week proposes it should be given to review and release the trove of vaccine-related documents responsive to the request. If a federal judge in Texas agrees, plaintiffs Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency can expect to see the full record in 2076.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s astonishing that vaccine mandates are still being contemplated in light of the body of evidence showing they are virtually meaningless. This vaccine protects the vaccinated. You are far from immunne even if you insist that your neighbor is vaccinated against their will. Get vaxxed and mind your own business.

  13. Any says:

    Big Pharm makes billions, Governments move to monitor and control individuals – The world is against bullying but are bullying the unvaccinated. The only solution for them, to Covid-19 is their desire for Billions and Control, is the JAB- they ignore all other practical, medical and scientific methods and BAN everything but the JAB

    The JAB Justified-Authorized-BULLYING

  14. Anon says:

    What the hell is wrong with Cayman. Either mandate everyone or mandate no one. Discriminating by nationality is xenophobic and wrong. Covid does not discriminate and mandating half of a workforce will not stop it. It is becoming intolerable the persistent calls to discriminate. If you won’t take it do not force others.

  15. Anonymous says:

    UK Government have instructed NHS and other civil servants: get vaccinated or prepare to be sacked. Thought we were following guidelines from the UK? Oh, sorry, that would cost votes at the next election — of course.

    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      Time for direct rule from London and end this nonsense on mandates.

      We should be following UK guidelines but no, we are so brilliant.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an insult to us Caymanians. Change their name to Cue Less Clan

    • Anonymous says:

      @4:10pm It has absolutely nothing with “costing votes.” It’s about having a weak and ineffective leader as the head of the Civil Service. No sitting government has any control over an civil servant. That power solely in the hands of the Deputy Governor and he and his minions would rather sit back and collect their big fat paychecks rather than having the cajones to stand up and be counted.

      I know it is not politically correct for the Premier speak up against the Deputy Governor but someone needs to do that because obviously his boss, the Governor, couldn’t give two shits it seems.

    • Anonymous says:


      1. Keep in power

    • Anonymous says:

      Except its not actually mandated in the UK now is it? So we are following the UK then aren’t we.

  16. Anonymous says:

    civil service drags it feet everywhere – just look at the CSPR Board!!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Do as I say, not as I do. No wonder Cayman is in a downward spiral.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Covid doesn’t kill government employees

  19. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic. Do as we say, not as we do, has been an unacceptable method of governance since the French Revolution.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The government (or anyone else) should not be mandating the vax for covid19 for anybody WITHOUT at the very least suggesting that instead of vaccination, those deemed ‘worthy’ of mandating take antibody tests.

    regardless of the extreme push for these vaccines, the facts cannot be hidden and the facts are that natural immunity exists and is now being shown to be far, far greater than these very poor vaccines.

    dont just take my word for it – read these, and go find many more in support of the position that AT THE VERY LEAST, natural immunity should be considered BEFORE you assume that vaccination is the ONLY or even the BEST thing to do.

    For crying out loud, even the CDC acknowledged just last week that they have no record of anyone unvaccinated passing on covid AFTER a 2nd infection.

    • Anonymous says:

      How you doing on mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus. hooping cough, Hep B, chicken pox etc.?
      Your kids ok,
      You are nothing more than an idiotic stupid selfish hypocrite.
      Get an education

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed. But it doesn’t fit the narrative and all the world’s governments are drunk on their power. Along with the fact that so many are ready to blindly follow whatever their gov’t says – it would not surprise me if they would get in groups and play smell my finger if they were instructed.
      Nobody thinks for themselves it seems.

  21. Anon says:

    Rules for thee but not for me!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Civil so call servants no need to work when they can get bonuses, never mind what they do.

  23. Really? says:

    Discrimination on the basis of national origin. That is going to end well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Haven’t you heard? Caymanians are immune from Covid so no need to worry about the restrictions placed on mere mortals who were not born here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Although they were the only nationality that were ever going to win the $100k even with such immunity!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Its very simple: If you aren’t exempt from being vaccinated, & still refuse to be vaccinated , you obviously aren’t on-board to be a contributor towards assisting where-ever it is you live in managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether that be here in Cayman, or elsewhere.

  25. Anonymous says:

    classic cig caymankind discrimination…..
    all frontline civil servants should be vaxxed. end of story.
    this should not even be a debate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Am I wrong in thinking that this is where the tourists are going for their LFT ? Are these people observing not vaccinated?

  26. Anonymous says:

    criminal negligience agin by cig and civil service.
    on what planet does it make sense to mandate vaccines for expats but not for frontline civil servants(expat or caymanian)?????
    wlecome to wonderland.

  27. George C. says:

    World Class Jerry! World Class!

  28. C'Mon Now! says:

    It is amazing how often the headline is some variation on:

    “Civil Service Drags Feet…”

    They either don’t have the numbers on the vaccination among their workforce or they do not want to disclose it. Either way that is bad.

  29. Anonymous says:

    For thou but not for thee?

  30. Anonymous says:

    It’s not the expats you need to be worrying about.

  31. Anonymous says:

    You could have just left it at civil service drags feet.

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