Western Australia (WA) Police have reportedly arrested a family restaurant's owner and her daughter after they allegedly refused to allow police to enter the premises and check the vaccination status of staff, according to witnesses on the scene.
However, The Epoch Times understands this may be the first publicly known arrest in WA that relates to the state's vaccination mandate.
Restaurant co-owner, Phil, said that his wife, Jodie, and his daughter had been taken into police custody on the evening of Feb. 7. Footage of the incident shows at least seven police officers lined up in front of the restaurant.
"They were checking on the staff's vaccination statuses," Phil told The Epoch Times.
"They asked to come in and [Jodie] said no, and they arrested her for obstructing them for doing their duties—and then kicked all of my unvaxxed staff from my restaurant."
Phil also alleged that two police officers had visited the establishment earlier during the day and probed for information from the owners, including their vaccination statuses. His wife and daughter were released from custody later that night.
"We're going to have to tell my grandchild, and your child, that we were arrested for her or him because we're standing up for [them] ... I'm standing up for the future of our children. And if we don't, we're not going to have a future."
"I'm not sure what's gonna happen with the restaurant and my staff, my 20 staff that I have that rely on me for their pay."
WA Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The WA government has previously been criticised both internationally and domestically for enacting one of the strictest vaccination mandates in Australia.
But McGowan has stated the decision to enforce wide proof of vaccination rules has been to ensure the safety of the state's residents, particularly as cases of Omicron balloon over in the eastern states.
As of Feb. 7, WA recorded a total of 265 active COVID-19 cases, compared with New South Wales' 85,344 and Victoria's 59,801.