Starting today, local supermarkets will require vaccinations as a pre-requisite for both new employees and work-permit renewals.

Foster’s, Priced Right, Kirk Market, Hurley’s and Cost-U-Less have issued a joint press release which said, effective Monday, they will require all job applicants to have verified proof of vaccination to be considered for employment.

“Additionally, work permit renewals will only be processed for vaccinated team members,” the stores said in the release.

The decision to require vaccinations “supports the Government’s re-opening plan introduced in June 2021, which aims to see 80% of the country’s population vaccinated by September 9th, 2021″, the release said.

It said vaccination rates amongst current supermarket staff have been “excellent, as many of Cayman’s supermarkets have been facilitating staff vaccinations since February 2021, and we hope that these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind”.

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Last month, local hardware store A. L. Thompson’s required all staff to provide their vaccination cards ahead of the business determining bonuses.

Supermarkets say the decision to require vaccinations for new employees and work-permit renewals was to protect public health.

Thompson, in a statement to the Cayman Compass on the vaccination request, said, “The letter to my staff did not mandate anything. It simply encouraged them to be vaccinated and for my company to know which staff member has or has not been vaccinated. We have a right to know.”

He said his message was prompted, in part, by the confirmation of Cayman’s first cases of the highly contagious Delta variant on 22 July.

The supermarkets, in the statement, said “this joint COVID Staffing Policy will play a role in helping the Government achieve its vaccination goal to protect public health”.

As essential businesses they said they employ “a significant portion of the local workforce to ensure the country’s food supply chains are uninterrupted and secure.  We must unite on the vaccination requirements across all stores to protect our dedicated staff and valued customers.”

The supermarkets, the statement added, are working with their respective leadership teams to amend internal policies and plans, in alignment with the government’s reopening timeline, to include such practices as mask requirements for team members, social distancing and increased store sanitation.

“We encourage the community to come together and understand the importance of being vaccinated for the safety of loved ones and yourself. While vaccine hesitancy and misinformation are hurdles across the globe, it’s important to be informed before getting vaccinated,” it said.

The statement stressed it was even more important to source information from reputable, verified news sources, including the Cayman Islands government website or social media pages, as well as the websites of the World Health Organization, the UK National Health Service, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As the Government begins to re-introduce tourism and travel for the Cayman Islands, the major supermarkets will continue to monitor and follow all health and safety guidelines provided by the Health Services Authority. We will update our community as new information is received,” the statement added.

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  1. This is great news. Hotels and others who offer employment in roles that are people-facing should be doing the same. In providing a service, there is an obligation to keep the customer safe. Pure common sense.

  2. This is good news but why not a requirement that ALL staff be vaccinated by say September 15? I was told a mandatory vaccine would face legal issues. Why can’t an employer give employees an option-if you want to work for us get vaccinated!

  3. Do you know how ridiculous this is? The delta variant, more then likely caused at the hieght of summer by the vaccinated, is infecting the vaccinated at an equal or higher rate. The hospitalized are equal or higher in vaccinated. The vaccine is obsolete. Forcing ppl to take it is not mitigating any risk, it is increasing risk. Forcing ppl to take a vaccine with known risks and unknown risks is immoral especially when we know they are not working anymore. Then we have to consider the “boosters” an admission to the failure of the current vaccine doses. How are the companies and government going to handle making sure all their staff are up to date on their boosters, which look like it will be a quarterly dose? Vaccine passports? Sanitary pass? “papers”? When vaccine segregation comes to Cayman, how will the government enforce it? “You missed your booster this month, you can’t visit your mom or buy food today. ” Where have all the men gone? Stand up! This has nothing to do with your health and safety.

  4. Also…. Speaking of vaccine mandates. Why hasn’t the government made it mandatory for police, regiment, healthcare workers and all Civil servants to get the jab? Wouldn’t that make a huge dent in the vaccine quota? Not even the CDC or the FDA in the USA has made them mandatory for their staff.