The Queensland Premier has confirmed it will be up to individual businesses to decide whether or not to ban unvaccinated customers.
Speaking to reporters from Townsville on Wednesday afternoon, Annastacia Palaszczuk reassured business owners that the State Government would not be mandating the vaccine for those who wished to dine out or shop.
Instead, the Premier said the decision would be in the hands of businesses themselves.
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“I think businesses will make up their own minds,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It’s very clear that when we get to 80 per cent 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 like 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 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.”