From 17 December when Queensland is forecast to reach the 80% double vaccinated milestone, hospitality and entertainment venues including festivals will only be permitted to allow entry to patrons and employees who are fully vaccinated.

Read the plan here.

This affects non-essential leisure businesses including hospitality venues (hotels, pubs, clubs, taverns, bars, restaurants and cafes) and entertainment venues (nightclubs, live music venues, stadiums, theatres, cinemas and festivals) that will no longer need to operate under COVID-19 density limits.

Queensland Health have released information and FAQs covering what this change will mean.

From 17 December these businesses will be asked to: 

  • display the vaccination rules at the business premises
  • ask for evidence of vaccination from customers at the time of check-in
  • if a customer cannot or refuses to provide evidence, ask the person to leave the premises
  • if the person refuses to the leave the premises, call the police.

What does this mean for my team? 

Businesses should start to plan for these changes. If you haven’t already, it is important to start gathering information now to know the status of vaccination in your workforce. We recommend taking the following steps:

  1. Check whether your business is one impacted by the new restrictions
  2. Communicate with your team what the new restrictions are
  3. Explain the impact on the team – ideally this should be stated in a policy clearly outlining the restrictions, expectations and consequences 
  4. Ask that employees let you know in a reasonable time frame (to allow you time to plan prior to 17 December) whether they
    • Are fully vaccinated;
    • Have received the first jab and are booked for the second jab;
    • Have a medical reason not to be vaccinated; or
    • Intend on personal grounds not to be vaccinated.
  5. Collate records for those employees who are vaccinated (remember to treat these records with the confidentiality required of medical information)

It is important to note that the government is yet to release how they will treat medical contraindications under these new restrictions, so we are unclear on what this means for employees’ ability to work. 

We also think it is vitally important to be respectful of each individual’s choice in relation to vaccination. While government guidelines may require businesses to apply consequences to these decisions, handling this is in a respectful and appropriate manner is vital – good relationships, strong connectivity, and being considerate of each other is more important now than ever. 

If you would like assistance with drafting a policy or need assistance in navigating discussions and management of employees who make a personal choice not to be vaccinated, please contact us.