‘No jab, no service’ plan questions in Qld

Business owners must be allowed to decide if they’ll serve customers who have not been COVID-19 vaccinated when Queensland’s borders open, a peak business group says.

The state government has flagged a two-tiered approach to personal freedoms when Queensland fully reopens in December.

“We expect that there will be some settings and venues that decide to be vaccinated-only. And in return, they will have eased restrictions,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.


“There are venues that you can go to now if you’re unvaccinated that you won’t be able to go to after December 17.”

The government is yet to clarify how things will work but the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says business owners must be able to make their own decisions about who they serve.

“They don’t need ambiguous rules to follow, especially if it’s not clear how it helps them or the wider economy’s recovery,” the chamber’s policy manager Cherie Josephson said on Tuesday.

“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.

The Queensland Hotels Association says larger venues might see the value in locking out unvaccinated patrons in return for being able to operate at full capacity.

Chief executive Bernie Hogan wants more detail about the government’s plans but says it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to get licensed venues to check the vaccination status of patrons.

“We have been asking people for ID for decades. We have the ability to refuse service on virtually any grounds that would make other patrons unsafe,” he told AAP.

“So this is not a huge change from the fights licensed venue holders already have. The only people I feel sorry for in this are the staff members who are abused.”

Alex Johns is the co-owner of Solbar, a bar, restaurant and nightclub on the Sunshine Coast. His venue can hold 500 patrons but it’s currently limited to 200.

He won’t be asking staff to police the vaccination status of his patrons given the “fair torrent of abuse” they’ve copped over the past 18 months trying to enforce rules such as the mandatory face masks.

“To have them try and tell an anti-vaxxer person they are not to come into the venue … I can’t expect them to do that. That’s not fair and it’s not our job,” he told reporters at a news conference with Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.

The LNP leader accused the government of heaping tasks onto business owners and expecting them to “bear all of the cost, all of the anger”.

“It shouldn’t be small and family business owners who have to turn themselves and their staff into COVID cops.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there would be more details soon but has flagged the rewards that might be possible for operators that declare themselves “vaccinated businesses”.

“That might mean that all their staff are vaccinated, and all of their patrons or customers have to be fully vaccinated to enter the premises,” she said.

“That might mean that they have no restrictions whatsoever … they can operate 100 per cent, stand up, you know nightclubs, no masks.”

Ms D’Ath said Queensland wasn’t doing anything new, and NSW and Victoria already had directives about the operation of businesses in relation to the vaccination status of their clients.

But she acknowledged business owners were nervous about refusing access to unvaccinated people.

“We don’t expect them to operate like police officers. They are not to take the law into their own hands and put the safety of their staff at risk.”

© AAP 2021