New Caledonia: the obligation to vaccinate in “sensitive” sectors postponed until the end of December – Sciences et Avenir

The government, elected officials and social partners of New Caledonia reached an agreement on Saturday during a social table to postpone the vaccination obligation in the so-called sensitive sectors from October 31 to December 31, 2021, due to the increase in tensions.

Hit since September 6 by a virulent coronavirus epidemic, which has so far killed 252 people, New Caledonia had voted a few days earlier, on September 3, in favor of mandatory vaccination for so-called sensitive sectors (health, transportation , application of the law). , media, etc.) on October 31 and for the entire population on December 31.

The health pass was launched on October 11, allowing an adaptation of the confinement, which remains in force on weekends until the end of October.

In his opening speech, the president of the collegiate government, Louis Mapou, acknowledged that “these two tools are divided.”

Demonstrations, blockades and strike notices accentuate the discontent of several unions and anti-tax associations, but also of some traditional Kanak officials, especially in the province of the Loyalty Islands.

“The fateful date of October 31 clearly poses difficulties (…). The application of deliberation generates tensions in companies to the point of compromising internal cohesion ”, declared the head of the executive collegiate while a hundred people opposed to the sanitary measures had gathered in front of the building where the round table was held.

At the end of a morning discussion, the participants decided that on Monday a bill would be presented in Congress (deliberative assembly), on behalf of all political groups, to request the postponement of the vaccination obligation for sensitive sectors on 31 December. December.

Vaccination against Covid-19, September 7, 2021 in Nouméa, New Caledonia (AFP / Archives – Theo Rouby)

“There is also consensus on expanding the health pass (…) and work will be done on reorienting the sectors affected by the vaccination obligation and on the general vaccination obligation,” declared Christopher Gygès, a member of the government.

Currently, 55.2% of the total population of New Caledonia has a complete vaccination schedule. The incidence rate has dropped, as has hospital pressure, but authorities fear a rebound.

“We are in a dangerous middle ground,” warned Louis Mapou.

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