The peak industry body in the Australian state of Queensland has said that small businesses should be able to decide if it’s in their best interests to refuse entry to unvaccinated customers and staff.
This comes after the Queensland government outlined its plan to lift COVID-19 border restrictions incrementally for fully vaccinated residents once 70, 80, and 90 percent of the state’s population has been vaccinated.
It is expected that Queensland’s border restrictions will begin to lift from Dec. 17.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Policy and Advocacy Manager Cherie Josephson said it was important that businesses were able to choose to implement any new government measures and are not forced to comply with even more rules.
“Businesses need to be empowered to plan their long-term recovery from the financial and emotional impacts of COVID and they don’t need ambiguous rules to follow, especially if it’s not clear how it helps them or the wider economy’s recovery,” Josephson said in a statement on Tuesday.
“If refusing entry to unvaccinated customers is the right thing to do for the business and the wider economy’s COVID recovery, they need to be given resources to implement that change. But if it’s not in their best interests, they should be able to continue running their business.”
Josephson wants the Queensland government to make it clear to businesses how they will support them if they choose to refuse entry to unvaccinated customers and staff in a bid to comply with COVID-19 safety plans.
“This detail needs to be communicated clearly and effectively, and with clear guidelines outlining business’ rights,” she said.
CCIQ has called on the government to provide incentives and support to businesses to comply with any new COVID-19 safety rules that might impact staff, customers, and the businesses’ bottom line.
“Changes to rules and abilities mean different things to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Queensland still focused on making the day-to-day decisions to keep their business open in the short term,” Josephson said.
“These small businesses need the resources to make a decision now about what these new abilities mean for them so they can focus on getting back to business.”
Meanwhile, Josephson said that hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Queensland are preparing for the Dec. 17 border opening date, calling it a “light at the end of the tunnel.”