We have received several calls from Queensland business owners seeking advice on where our industry is positioned with regards to mandatory vaccinations, based on an announcement that only double vaccinated businesses and clients will be able to trade as of 17th December.
Our role is to advocate on behalf of our industry with the government, stressing that our industry is a safe one that has an excellent history of no recorded COVID-19 infection transmissions. Our position is to support our members in the decision they have taken and continue to support them in their choices. While most have been vaccinated there are some who have valid reasons not to wish to be vaccinated at this time.
From our conversations with the Qld Government, a roadmap has yet to be finalised with more specific details as to the requirements for our industry. It is estimated that these details have yet to be decided upon and will be made available closer to the 17th of December. Once we have been informed, we will be releasing information through our newsletter, so we urge all Queensland members to please check their emails regularly for our newsletter.
Meanwhile, two days ago the Queensland Premier has confirmed it will be up to individual businesses to decide whether or not to ban unvaccinated customers.
Below is further information about her interview:
Speaking to reporters from Townsville on Wednesday afternoon, Annastacia Palaszczuk reassured business owners that the State Government would not be mandating the vaccine for consumers. Instead, the Premier said the decision would be in the hands of businesses themselves.
“I think businesses will make up their own minds,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It’s very clear that when we get to 80 percent double vaccinated and people are coming into Queensland, they will make up their own minds about what they want to do to protect their customers”.
That’s despite residents in both NSW and Victoria currently having to be fully vaccinated if they want to enjoy a drink at a bar or simply go to breakfast at a cafe.
The news will come as a relief for many Queensland business owners, who have been concerned they may have to become “COVID cops” if the Government did decide to mandate vaccines.
“I’m just urging everyone to get vaccinated because it fundamentally comes down to a health issue,” the Premier said.
“Because COVID is here, it is within our world and it will prevent you from getting serious disease and prevent you from ending up in hospital.”
However, Ms Palaszczuk said those who decided not to get the jab would miss out on some freedoms.
“They’ll miss out, I think the airlines are saying you have to be fully vaccinated, to come back into Queensland you need to be fully vaccinated otherwise you have to go into quarantine”.
“These are going to be really important issues for people going forward, and as I said in other states, you have to be fully vaccinated to go to a bar, cafe, or restaurant, so businesses will make their own decisions”.
It comes after the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland yesterday called for small businesses to be given the right to “choose if refusing entry to unvaccinated customers and staff is in their best interests”.
“If refusing entry to unvaccinated customers is the right thing to do for the business and the wider economy’s COVID recovery, they need to be given resources to implement that change,” CCIQ Policy and Advocacy Manager Cherie Josephson said.
“But if it’s not in their best interests, they should be able to continue running their business.”
Ms Josephson said it was imperative that businesses who do choose to ban unvaccinated customers are protected and supported.
“To ensure they can confidently prepare for that date, businesses need to know what they’re up against and how they will be supported, protected, and incentivised if they choose to refuse entry to unvaccinated customers and staff,” she said.
“This detail needs to be communicated clearly and effectively, and with clear guidelines outlining business’ rights.”