Hospitality Industry Calls To Scrap Victoria’s Vaccine Economy

“Extremely stressed staff”


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Hospitality workers are calling for an end to Victoria's vaccine mandate rules, with staff continually vilified for following state regulations.

With no end in sight to the state's vaccinated economy, which prevents unvaccinated people from attending venues, the contentious rule is sending some Victorians over the edge.

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Deakin University’s chair of epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett said the jab mandate is no longer warranted in most settings.

“There isn’t a health argument for the vaccine economy now,” she told the Herald Sun.

“It could be anything but a health stance. I can’t say what it is, but at the end of the day, the epidemiologist argument fades pretty quickly if you reach high vaccination rates and background immunity.”

- Prof Bennett

With almost 95 per cent of Victorians double-dosed with a Covid vaccine, Associate Professor Nathan Grills, a public health physician at the University of Melbourne, said “We have ostracised, and even vilified, the five per cent of the eligible population who remain unvaccinated”.

“I may believe their reasoning is ill-informed ...But does that justify continuing to alienate and exclude them from work opportunities and social activities? To continue such draconian partitions would need strong public health evidence in order to be proportionate.”

- Prof Grills

Meanwhile, the question remains whether the hospitality sector's vaccine mandate is stopping the transmission of the virus, or just impeding businesses from getting on with business.

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert said he is overwhelmed by the number of “distressing calls” from “extremely stressed staff” he receives every day.

“I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard ‘I’m thinking about shutting my business because of the abuse my staff and I get’,” he said.

“It’s just mind-boggling we still have these laws especially when the government has effectively given up on track-and-tracing. How long will venues have to cop abuse when their counterparts in NSW and now QLD have learned to live with the virus?”

- Mr Lambert

It comes as Queensland dropped the jab mandates for most venues on Thursday, while New South Wales has ditch showing proof of vaccination in most setting.

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Hit News Team

14 April 2022

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