BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 25, 2021 — Starting December 15, 2021, public officers across the country will face a state-issued vaccine mandate. They risk losing their jobs if they are not vaccinated by that date. According to the Minister of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, Hon. Francis Fonseca, however, teachers might be exempted from this mandate as a result of a meeting between the Ministry and the Belize National Teachers Union.
Nonetheless, teachers, who are not classified as public officers although they work within the public sector, will have to present a negative COVID-19 test bi-monthly if they are not vaccinated. “As we have already agreed with the Union, the position remains the same. Those teachers who are not vaccinated will have to continue producing every two weeks, a test hoping that they are negative. So, a negative test every two weeks if they have chosen not to get the vaccine,” explained Education Minister Francis Fonseca.
Minister Fonseca made the public statement after a quarterly meeting with the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). Thus far, through the collaboration between the Government of Belize and the BNTU, 92 percent of all teachers have been vaccinated. The Ministry of Education will be reviewing mitigation measures to be taken for those teachers who have not yet been vaccinated. These concerns will be addressed in a meeting with the BNTU that is scheduled to take place tomorrow, November 26, 2021. Minister Fonseca stated, “The issue is to discuss those teachers who have not been vaccinated for various reasons and how we can ensure that their rights are protected and at the same time the ministry expects that those teachers continue to do their jobs in a safe and responsible way.”