NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — In its quest to ensure the safety and security of the people of Nevis new measures have been put in place by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for persons seeking work permits, residency or renewal with effect from May 01, 2021.
Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis who is also the Minister of Health, made the announcement at his monthly press conference in Cabinet Room at Pinney’s Estate on April 28, 2021.
“What we have now decided and effective May 1st is that anyone seeking a work permit or residency or seeking to renew a work permit or their residency will have to present evidence that they have been vaccinated.
“We feel that this is a reasonable measure to take in the circumstances, just as persons seeking work permits and residency have to submit evidence that they are free of Tuberculosis and Syphilis. I think those are the two tests that are applied now. We are now requiring as of May 1st that they also confirm that they are vaccinated,” he said.
Mr. Brantley stated that the move is a significant policy shift for the NIA and thanked the Cabinet for its support in the matter.
The Premier noted the island’s popularity as a destination over the years for those seeking work and reside there, citing that the NIA has had a very open and liberal policy particularly to Caribbean brothers and sisters.
However, Mr. Brantley called for the support of the non-national community to comply with the new requirements.
“This is not novel because we are seeing other places introducing it. Just yesterday I think I saw a news item saying in Turks and Caicos Islands that this is a similar approach that they’re taking and we would want the support of the non-national community in this regard.
“Incidentally, we are advised that the non-national community constitutes the highest percentage of persons who have already taken the first shot of the vaccine and so we are optimistic that this would not impact negatively anyone,” he said.
The Premier told them for those who are unable to take the vaccine for medical reasons, they must present evidence from their medical doctor, and would be placed in the category of persons who are not allowed to take the vaccine.
For those who can take the vaccine, Mr. Brantley urged them to do so as the NIA believes that the measure to be implemented on May 1st is a reasonable one to combat COVID-19 at this point in time.
He also addressed employers in relation to non-nationals who they plan to hire.
“We understand that persons even in this pandemic are still seeking to relocate to Nevis.
“We appreciate that some institutions have to hire certain persons because the skill set might not be locally available, and so we are saying to those employers as well to employ local first and foremost, where they can, but if for any reason this skill set is not available and they require a work permit or they require a renewal of a work permit, that they invite these workers to comply with the new requirements that they must demonstrate that they are vaccinated against the COVID-19,” he said.