Uzbekistan allows employers to suspend unvaccinated staff

The measure comes as Uzbekistan and other countries in the former Soviet region toughen up their vaccination campaigns with the Delta variant of the virus seen driving fresh outbreaks.

FILE: Exceptions to the rule are employees who have health conditions that prevent them from receiving the vaccine. Picture: 123rf.com

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan has passed a law allowing employers to prevent staff from working if they are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, state media reported on Tuesday.

The measure comes as Uzbekistan and other countries in the former Soviet region toughen up their vaccination campaigns with the Delta variant of the virus seen driving fresh outbreaks.

Employers in Uzbekistan will be permitted to suspend employees if they refuse to get vaccinated, according to the law signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Exceptions to the rule are employees who have health conditions that prevent them from receiving the vaccine.

Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country of over 34 million people, borders two countries, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, who have made vaccinations compulsory for citizens over the age of 18.

Another neighbour, Kazakhstan, a country of 19 million, ordered mandatory vaccinations for most workers last month.

Uzbekistan has broken its record for daily coronavirus cases several times in recent weeks, although officials have admitted that registered totals may be undercounts.

As of Tuesday, the country has reported more than 130,000 cases and over 890 deaths.

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