The Ministries of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA and of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) have issued a decree allowing businesses to require periodic COVID-19 testing from personnel, whether vaccinated or not. This extra precaution is also based on jurisprudence stating that although COVID-19 measures can be an infringement on individual rights, in some cases the latter is outweighed by employers’ obligation to provide a secure working environment for all.
The issue seems important particularly in St. Maarten’s dominant hospitality industry where there is close contact with visitors who drive the local economy. About the last thing needed now is many guests getting infected while here and spreading the word.
That testing may also be asked from vaccinated persons is understandable, because a –significantly smaller – number of those have also tested positive especially with the Delta variant. In practical terms, however, the focus will probably be on non-vaccinated workers with a much greater chance of both passing on the disease and getting sick themselves.
Having the company pay for mandatory testing if desired is reasonable. It must obviously be done in a professional and safe manner too.