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Ipswich chamber supports 'choice' in turning away unvaxxed patrons


Ipswich Chamber of Commerce fears a ban on unvaccinated customers would be a challenge for business owners to enforce, but he supports their right to choose to refuse entry to unprotected patrons. 

In Queensland Parliament this week, Treasurer Cameron Dick threatened to put bans and restrictions on people who refuse to get the COVID-19 jab.

Mr Dick warned social distancing rules will continue until the state hits its 80 per cent vaccination target. Indoor venues are limited to having one person per two square metre or 100 per cent capacity for ticketed events with allocated seating.

Ipswich Chamber president President Phillip Bell says it would be a big ask by the state government to expect business owners to enforce a mandate for customers to be vaccinated.

“I think it is likely to be expensive and challenging to enforce,” Mr Bell says.

However, he does believe local businesses have the right to maintain safe working environments for their staff and other patrons.

If business owners don’t want unvaccinated customers in their stores and restaurants they have a right to refuse service, he says.

“I do believe the right to do that is appropriate for a business operator.

“The right of business people to run a safe business so their staff feel safe and their customers likewise is paramount.

“Increasingly, people who are unvaccinated are going to find all sorts of social, commercial and employment constraints."

It comes as the government begins to roll out vaccination mandates across a raft of its departments.

Queensland Health staff who are refusing to the coronavirus vaccination will be out of a job and could face disciplinary action from November 1.

A directive was issued this week, stipulating that anyone who has not had their first vaccination by Monday or had applied for an exemption could not work in a care facility of any kind.

A similar directive has been issued for the Queensland Police Force as the state scrambles to hit its vaccination target before the December 17 deadline, when visitors from Covid hotspots will be allowed to travel to Queensland.