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GSD: Unvaccinated People Have Rights

The GSD says that people who are unvaccinated have rights as citizens and should not be put in a position where they cannot see loved ones because they are unvaccinated. The party says that would be “inhumane.”

A statement continued: “The GSD is receiving reports of people who are unvaccinated who are being told they cannot see their parents or relatives at ERS or in the hospital unless they agree to be vaccinated. There are cases where persons who had been able to see a parent undergoing medical treatment in Spain are told that this is no longer possible when they are brought back to St Bernard’s Hospital. There are cases also affecting relatives of residents at ERS. In all the cases reported to the GSD the patients or residents have all been vaccinated so the risk of catching the virus is low given that the Pfizer vaccine is supposed to provide 95% protection.”

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, said: “GSD MPs have had the vaccine, we encourage people to do so and we support the vaccine programme. But if someone cannot for medical reasons have the vaccine or chooses not to do so they cannot lose their rights. Still less should they be put in the agonising position that they are told they cannot have human interaction with a loved one because of that position. A balance must be struck so that they are able to enjoy seeing their loved ones while the vulnerable are protected. Extra precautions can be justified in these cases but they should not be banned from seeing their family.

“The Government has said that vaccines are not mandatory. To give effect to that ways need to be found to ensure that people can see their loved ones by taking necessary precautions even without being vaccinated. After all this was happening last year before the vaccination programme began. So why not now when the risks of catching COVID have been dramatically lowered because of the vaccine programme. Precautions can still be taken by mandating COVID tests before visits or the wearing of PPE or isolation of patients being visited by unvaccinated individuals. We urge the Government to reflect on this situation and review the current restrictions with the aid of public health advice.

“Members of staff are having daily interaction with unvaccinated individuals when they leave ERS or GHA. So the risks are still there. There are even unvaccinated members of staff. That brings into focus that while restrictions are understandable, they need to be proportionate and designed in a way that recognises that the vast majority of people are vaccinated. They also need to be designed against the backdrop of the current state of active cases which is being maintained at the lowest levels that COVID has been in this community since the summer.”