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Insurance firm AIG restricts parts of offices to vaccinated vendors only

The American International Group building in Hamilton (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A top insurance firm has ordered that only vaccinated vendors should be allowed into some areas of its offices in a bid to protect staff from an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.

The decision, which was circulated internally last week by the Hamilton-based American International Group, was made amid a steep rise in cases and hospital admissions.

The notice, from American International’s facilities manager, told employees it was “keeping you and our building safe as a priority”.

The requirement came into immediate effect.

Vendors calling on the AIG building’s second and third floors at 27 Richmond Road and the basement level at 29 Richmond Road must be fully vaccinated.

The statement said: “Help us keep our building and our colleagues in the building as safe as reasonably possible.”

Catherine Duffy, the country leader for AIG, was travelling and unavailable for comment yesterday.

Other American International staff said they were unable to comment on the move.

The AIG decision came against a backdrop of record levels of coronavirus infection on the island in a fourth wave of cases dominated by the virulent Delta strain.

Workplaces were highlighted by Kim Wilson, the health minister, who has often said the spread of Covid-19 was increased by people ignoring symptoms and going to work.

Ms Wilson appealed to people not to go to work before they got a clear result from Covid-19 tests.

Workplace exposures, along with high numbers of people quarantined because of close contact with positive cases, have forced businesses to close this month.

Industrial action sparked by health fears has also hit public transport – ferries this week joined the buses and shut down services.

The Bermuda Employer’s Council last week issued a clarion call for more people to get vaccinated.

Keith Jensen, the president of the BEC, later said that employers were within their rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to require Covid-19 tests for the protection of their staff.

* Are you one of the vendors affected? Let us know what you think, email news@royalgazette.com