Talking to venue managers about the reopening in Sydney and a big concern is how to manage unvaccinated people wanting to enter venues when they reopen.
There are two issues – first, the promised integration of the “vaccination passport” with the QR check-in system will not be ready when venues reopen on October 11th and no guidelines have yet been issued on how this process has to be managed.
Secondly is the issue of the responsibility of the venue management regarding enforcement.
The Guardian reported on this issue when it was brought up at this morning’s presser.
The NSW health minister Brad Hazzard and police commissioner Mick Fuller appear to be at odds over who will be enforcing public health orders restricting access to businesses and venues for unvaccinated patrons.
NSW is preparing to make a series of public health orders imposing continued restrictions for unvaccinated Australians, though it has signalled they will largely be eased from December 1.
The plan has raised the prospect of business and venue owners enforcing restricted entry on unvaccinated patrons. Earlier, Fuller said his officers won’t be checking the vaccination status of those out in public from October 11. But Hazzard has just contradicted that position. Hazzard said he had not seen Fuller’s comments, but said breaching a public health order is a crime, making police responsible for enforcement.
“If the law says you have to be double vaccinated, then of course the police will enforce that, they have no choice but to enforce that.”
Hazzard said it was not currently proposed that business owners would be fined if they allowed unvaccinated people into their premises. When asked why a business owner would bother having a fight with an unvaccinated customer, if they will face no punishment, Hazzard said the media was “obsessing” over “minutiae”.
I think that many venue managers would not consider this issue to be “minutiae”.
So although it may not become too big an issue for corporate events, you only have to look at the protests in Melbourne over the past week to expect that some people will want to test their “freedom rights” at venues like hotels. Let’s see who obsesses over the minutiae then.
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