Residents travelling out of Antigua & Barbuda may soon be required to show an electronic passport as proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas says that an electronic passport system will be created to record vaccination and allow residents to travel abroad. It is anticipated that such proof will become a prerequisite for international travel, he says.
Nicholas says that information collected for the vaccination process will be collated and placed in a database, and this system will validate that residents have, in fact, been inoculated.
But at least one person is already objecting strongly.
A retired resident who lived abroad for a number of years tells REAL News that the proposed system is “an abuse of process and an invasion of privacy.”
She argues that the information requested by the Ministry of Health was for one purpose only: registration for the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, since she gave no consent, she says it is illegal to use her data otherwise.
In fact, the woman says she will be seeking legal advice about what she calls “this sneaky maneuver by the Government.”
Since the electronic passport has not yet been established as an international policy, some persons believe it is just another way of forcing people to take the vaccine.
Others agree and refer to the coercive measures being employed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who, over the past two weeks, has threatened, “No jab, no Carnival;” “No jab, no job;” and “No jab, no travel.”