Frontline workers who are not vaccinated after Friday will be required to pay for bi-weekly COVID-19 tests. Where the employer is not providing these for free, those classified as frontline workers under S.I. seventy-four will have to pay out of pocket. While there has been some pushback against this mandate, Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat told the hosts of Open Your Eyes that it also costs the country to care for hospitalized COVID patients, and to provide vaccines for the population.

Marleni Cuellar

“One of the questions that still lingers is whether or not frontline workers will be able to access those test for free.”

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness

“Marleni, that is not the position. The position is that anybody, as of the first of August who is classified as a frontline worker will have to pay for the test wherever they go, whether it is a public institution or at a private institution.”

Marleni Cuellar

“Rapid or PCR?”

Michel Chebat

“We are accepting both.”

Marleni Cuellar

“When you hear the arguments of the cost that is associated to it, how do you response to that?”

Michel Chebat

“Well, you know Marleni, there is also a cost to providing vaccinations to the country. There is a cost when somebody is infected and we have to ventilate them and try to save their lives. The last numbers I saw, it was costing us at our public institutions almost forty six thousand dollars per patient. If you go to a private institution that can cost you something up to two hundred thousand dollars. And so, the cost of the pandemic is huge. It is burdensome on us as a country.”

Channel 5