The entire community

The European Court has determined that compulsory vaccinations do not violate human rights. This reinforces the possibility of mandatory vaccination under the current COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

The landmark ruling stated that vaccinating children for common diseases is in their best interest and “necessary in democratic society.” It was the court’s first-ever such decision and while the case dealt with the Czech Republic’s laws that require schoolchildren to have jabs against diseases like whooping cough, tetanus and measles, the outcome may have implications when it comes to COVID-19 shots.

Grenada has reportedly decided that its employees in the hospitality industry must be vaccinated. This measure was obviously not without controversy, as the current vaccination is voluntary in most countries.

Some are now asking whether Curaçao should follow suit. After all, restoring the tourism economy stalled for more than a year has by now become a matter of great urgency.

The thinking is that guests with either proof of a recent negative test or – in the near future – an internationally recognized vaccination passport, will be more comfortable knowing the persons they encounter at, for example, resorts are “safe” too. To be sure, locally several visitor accommodations and other companies dealing with tourists also encourage their staff to vaccinate, but so far there have been no indications of forcing anyone to do so.

It is not clear whether the latter – despite the aforementioned verdict – would be permissible under national and kingdom law, at least yet. For now, the best approach remains to make especially residents in frequent contact with tourists aware of the added importance of getting vaccinated, not just for themselves and their loved ones, but for the entire community and its livelihood.

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