How shop owners can deal with anti-vaxxers

Shop owners have been urged to call the police rather than deal directly with anti-vaxxers when NSW reopens.

Shop owners have been urged to call the police rather than deal directly with anti-vaxxers when NSW reopens.

Individuals and major retailers and hospitality bodies have aired their concerns about how they will police people’s vaccination status when reopening later this year.

As the state slowly reopens there will be different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Because of this, hospitality and retailers are concerned about possible punishments for serving unvaccinated customers.

However, Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said officers would not be specifically checking that all people at venues are vaccinated from October 11.

“We will certainly be assisting restaurant owners and shop owners if they are refusing entry to someone,” he told 2GB.

“The role for police going forward in terms of vaccination won’t be stopping people and asking to see their vaccination passport.”

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he did not think police should be “at the forefront” of the checks – but will play a role.

“If the law says that you have to be double vaccinated, then of course the police will enforce that. They have no choice but to enforce that,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

He added it was up to businesses to decide whether they want to risk having unvaccinated people in their venue, but said fines for businesses flouting the order were not likely.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian rejected the suggestion that it was “fair to say that no one’s watching” vaccine passports.

“Not at all,” she said.

“Please be assured that in fact these discussions are ongoing in government, but as was the case before Delta, there is a very obvious onus on the individual to make sure they do the right thing.

“There are fines of $1000 every time you do the wrong thing. Businesses, there are fines from $5000 all the way up to $11,000 and closure for a period of time if businesses flagrantly disregard Covid safety plans, and that might mean not even displaying a QR code or not having done the basics.”

Retailers and hospitality businesses were left at the coalface when enforcing previous mask mandates.

Ugly scenes erupted across the state when people flouted the rules.

On one occasion, a man and woman were taken into custody after asking people to not wear masks inside their Bowral health foods store.

A sign out the front of the store read, “To protect our customers and each other, if you have had any vaccine in the last 10-14 days, please do not enter. For hygiene reasons, no masks in store.”

The pair were both issued with PIN for breaching the Public Health Order.

Originally published as ‘Call the police’: Advice for shop owners dealing with anti-vaxxers

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