Small business planning their COVID economic recovery should be able to choose if refusing entry to unvaccinated customers is in their best interests.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said it was understood National Cabinet would today advise what rights businesses had to deny entry to unvaccinated customers.
Ms Rohan said if businesses were afforded the ability to protect their staff, customers and bottom line by limiting their COVID risk, it was important they were able to choose to implement any new measures and not forced to comply with even more guidelines.
“For more than 18 months small businesses have been jumping through hoop after hoop to comply with new COVID conditions. They’ve adapted their business to respond to changes in consumer behavior and spending, carried out contact tracing, reduced patron density, cleaned, sanitized and disinfected, and all from behind a mask,” Ms Rohan said.
“If businesses are able to further protect their staff, customers and operations by reducing the risk of non-vaccinated customers, it’s essential that measure is their individual choice and not a blanket rule.
“Businesses need to be empowered to plan their long-term recovery from the financial and emotional impacts of COVID and they don’t need another rule to follow if it doesn’t help them or the wider economy’s recovery.
“They’ve already adapted their businesses over and over so it’s essential if limiting non-vaccinated customers from attending their premises is a possibility, they’re able to make that choice based on individual business circumstances.”
Ms Rohan said businesses were for the most part willing to do the right thing as part of their contribution to the wider business economy’s long-term COVID recovery but they were already at their financial and emotional limit.
“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 as normal,” she said.
“Businesses need clear and accessible details about what any new directions mean for them; what they are and aren’t allowed to enforce, how they can do that and how to protect themselves legally.
“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 than they do to larger companies. 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.”