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Is now the time for SME vaccine mandates to be reviewed and removed?

Emotionally and financially exhausted Queensland businesses have a right to know what the state’s 90% vaccine mandate review included and what it meant for rules impacting their day-to-day trade.  

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) data shows business confidence in the future of the state and national economies is the lowest since the start of the COVID economic crisis in Queensland while mandates and disruptions drag on two years later. 

More than 60% of business owners or staff are suffering mental health impacts due to COVID stressors while many businesses were still trading under vaccine mandates and directly or indirectly impacted from natural disasters. 

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said a vaccine mandate review was promised when the state reached the 90% target, but to date, there had been no certainty as to what the review included, what it meant for businesses, or if it happened at all. 

“For close to two years Queensland communities have been doing everything they’ve been told to, everything they can, to get to this point in the state’s COVID recovery,” Ms Rohan said.  

“Now is the time for government to level the playing field and bring businesses, their staff, customers and communities still operating under the vaccine mandates into line with those businesses operating without any restrictions.  

“Interstate and international tourists can travel about the state, mask rules have been relaxed and the double vaccination rate is well over 90%. 

“Businesses and Chambers of Commerce across Queensland are calling on the Premier and Small Business Minister to review these mandates. Business have done their bit, now the State Government needs to do their bit and deliver the review businesses were promised. 

“We’ve been calling for this review since January but now businesses are desperate to know what’s next and how they can plan ahead.” 

Ms Rohan said there were still disruptions to supply chains, staff availability and consumer behaviour and confidence so any opportunity for businesses rules, red tape and mandates to be reviewed, relaxed or removed was essential. 

“Let’s show our local and visiting communities we are open for business and support Queensland businesses who are ready to get back to what they do best supporting their staff, customers and communities,” Ms Rohan said.  

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