How customers could soon be BANNED from pubs, restaurants and cafes if they don’t get a booster shot – as Dan Andrews flags a MAJOR change to Victoria’s vaccine roll out
- Booster shot could be required for Victorians to go to cafes, pubs and restaurant
- QR code check-ins could also be ditched with app being used less and less
- Hospitality and retail giants have warned vaccine mandate could lead to abuse
Victorians who have not received their booster shot could soon be banned from dining in cafes and restaurants.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions met with hospitality and retail groups on Friday to discuss bringing in several changes to protect staff and customers.
Booster shots could soon be required meaning that unvaccinated and double-jabbed residents would no longer be allowed to visit a pub, restaurant or cafe.
QR code check-ins could also be ditched with health authorities using the app less as they scale back on contact tracing and shift their focus to high risk close contacts.
The discussions come after Victoria recorded 16,016 new cases and 20 deaths on Saturday.
Victorians who have not received their booster shot could soon be banned from dining in cafes and restaurants (pictured, residents visiting a cafe at Prahran)
Booster shots could soon be required meaning that unvaccinated and double-jabbed residents would no longer be allowed to visit a pub, restaurant or cafe (pictured, cafe worker in Prahran)
National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb feared the new vaccine mandate would only lead to more customers lashing out at staff.
‘It’s a very polarising topic,’ she told The Age. ‘When this was in place last time we had members who were having human excrement smeared on their windows, they were hiring their own security and people were being attacked. We have great concerns about having to go through that again.’
Restaurant and Catering Industry Australia chief executive Wes Lambert said the mandate would add more strain on the already exhausted hospitality industry.
‘It’s very important that if the definition of fully vaccinated changes to three doses that it is not done in a way that puts more pressure onto the hospitality industry,’ he said.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, premier Daniel Andrews warned the definition of being ‘fully vaccinated’ against Covid will soon change to involving three doses.
The Victorian premier, known for his tough Covid rules, noted that his government had already mandated workers in several industries to get boosters.
‘This is not an option, not an add-on, not a “good thing to have”, he said.
‘I think we’re close to a change in policy that will simply reflect the fact that in order to be fully protected you need three doses, not two plus an optional extra.’
It comes as the premier announced the interval between the second and third vaccine doses would be reduced to three months.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, premier Daniel Andrews warned the definition of being ‘fully vaccinated’ against Covid will soon change to involving three doses (pictured, a woman is vaccinated in Melbourne)
The premier said the number of people coming forward for a third jab needed to increase every single day as a ‘common sense’ response to the virus (pictured, a health worker outside a testing site in Melbourne)
The premier said the number of people coming forward for a third jab needed to increase every single day as a ‘common sense’ response to the virus.
Mr Andrews said the definition of ‘fully-vaccinated’ would soon come to mean those who had received three doses and said he wouldn’t rule out mandating the third jab for workers other than healthcare staff.
He said his government was looking to ramp up booster rates by extending testing clinic opening hours and adding more cubicles and walk-in capacity.
Eligible residents with a ‘spare 20 minutes’ were urged to book an appointment for a third dose to ensure they were protected amid surging Omicron cases.
‘We want it to be as easy as possible for the maximum number of people to get their third dose. That’s the most important thing,’ he told reporters.
His announcement on dose intervals means millions of Victorians who had their second dose three months ago are now eligible for their third.
‘That interval has been reduced down to three months effective immediately,’ the premier said on Wednesday.
‘That’s on the advice of our public health team, consistent with ATAGI’s broader statement. It’s safe. It’s effective.’