The Queensland Government has announced that pubs and cafes across the state will ban unvaccinated customers from entering venues once Queensland reaches it’s 80 percent doubled-vaccinated milestone.

This milestone is currently projected to be reached by Friday 17th December. Outside of the hospitality industry, the unvaccinated will be able to attend weddings but only if the wedding has 20 or less guests attending.

The list of venues that the unvaccinated will be banned from include; hotels, pubs, clubs, taverns, bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, indoor live music venues, karaoke bars, concerts, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, theme parks, festivals, and government-owned galleries, museums and libraries.

This means that only patrons and staff who are double vaccinated against covid-19 will be allowed to enter these venues, with the rules applicable to people age 16 and above, and no density limits will apply.

Unvaccinated citizens will also be unable to visit aged care facilities, hospitals, prisons and disability services, except for end-of-life visitors, childbirth or emergency situations.

However, Unvaccinated Australians will still be able to go to retail stores, such as Coles or Woolworths, and use public transport.

The government’s announcement has given businesses clarity, but it is important to note that business owners will not be deemed liable if patron don’t comply with the rules.

The Queensland Police has assured venues that hospitality staff won’t have to play cops.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said non-compliance would not be tolerated and would be met with enforcement action, including a $1378 fine.

Ms Carroll asked venues to display the rules, ask for proof of vaccination and if there was no evidence produced, they could ask the person to leave.

“If the person refuses to leave, staff should call the police. We have seen bad behaviour in other states, and I just reiterate the message that that will not be tolerated here,” said Police Commissioner Katarina Carrol.

Between July and October 2021, Queensland Police have undertaken 3675 random business checks for covid compliance.

Vaccination status will be added to the Queensland Check In App by mid-November.

On Tuesday, when asked if businesses did not have a choice in the roll-out of the new rules for unvaccinated patrons, Ms Palaszczuk replied: “Correct.”

Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Bernie Hogan spoke praise of the government’s plan, insisting that he was not concerned about any added impetus of enforcement as hotels already operated in a highly-regulated environment.

“We’re pleased that it gives certainty to the business community who were worried about if they made their venues fully vaccinated only, that they were leaving themselves up to some sort of legal challenge,” said Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Bernie Hogan.

Businesses Have Rejected Australians Who Were Vaccinated Overseas

Struggling businesses within the tourism industry have revealed that they have unfortunately had to turn away visitors who have been vaccinated overseas because there is no easy way to prove that they have been immunised.

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council and Restaurant and Catering Australia are lobbying the federal government to develop a system that is easy to navigate and have warned the situation will worsen as Australia reopens its borders to international tourists.

“Tourism operators are already seeing people coming to their venues with international vaccination certificates, but they can’t accept them. This is a critical issue now. It must be resolved,” said Felicia Mariani the chief executive for The Victorian Tourism Industry Council and Restaurant and Catering Australia.

Returned travellers who have arrived in Australia who want proof of their overseas covid-19 vaccinations must provide verified and translated documents to a recognised Australian vaccination provider such as a GP.

The provider can then update the Australian Immunisation Register. However, Services Australia has warned that this process can take up to 10 days. The returned traveller then needs to link their updated vaccination status to the Services Victoria check-in app, which is used to gain access to venues, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Singaporean tourists who are fully vaccinated are set to commence arriving in Australia in late November. However, it is still unclear what proof of vaccination overseas travellers will need to gain access to visit hospitality venues and tourist attractions.

Wes Lambert the chief executive for Restaurant and Catering Australia says that the current process was complicated, confusing and not well publicised.

Mr. Lambert says that the immunisation status of returned travellers and tourists should be automatically uploaded onto a new national app that could be used across different states. He added that the situation needs to be addressed urgently.

“They are announcing people are arriving from Singapore but how will they get into restaurants and pubs? They will not be able to prove they are vaccinated,” says West Lambert the chief executive for Restaurant and Catering Australia.