Seasonal workers advised to behave in quarantine

Seasonal workers returning to Vanuatu are urged to be mindful of their conduct during quarantine.

Commissioner of Labour, Murielle Meltenoven, made the appeal following concerns that were received over reported misconduct of returning seasonal workers while in quarantine.

“I condemn such attitudes," she said.

“While the Vanuatu Government and our partners are committing themselves to meet returning workers’ quarantine costs, it does not mean that they (seasonal workers) should enjoy the freedom to breach protocols in place.

“Seasonal workers could face penalties if they continue to behave irresponsibly. If they can respect protocols while being away in Australia and New Zealand, they should also do the same here.

“They must respect rules imposed by the Vanuatu Government." 

Seasonal workers who could not return home after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak are being repatriated through the government's repatriation process. Almost 1,000 are expected to be repatriated from April to October.

The government and donors have assisted to meet the costs of bringing back the seasonal workers since the first phase of repatriation.

Workers wanting to extend contracts are urged to consult families first.

Labour Commissioner Meltenoven said some of the social problems arising from the labor schemes are challenging for the Labour Department to handle.

Meltenoven encouraged seasonal workers abroad to continue practicing good personal hygiene measures, to keep safe. 

“Also, we must keep praying to God to keep our country free from coronavirus so that we continue to send more workers abroad," she added.

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