No Room in the Inn?

The Ins and Outs of the COVID-19 Roadmap for 2011 Hospitality

From our discussions with local hospitality businesses, Green and Associates understand there is growing anxiety in the lead-up to re-opening under the State Government’s current iteration of the proposed roadmap.
On the one hand, re-opening is sorely needed, but on the other, there is confusion about discrimination, divisiveness, workplace relations and the negative exposure this might carry, both in terms of bad PR but also potential legal exposure.
Many businesses are also concerned about the mechanics of policing vaccine passports or certificates, with the aftermath of turning un-vaccinated customers away, and potential penalties for breaches, if only just because the regulations are confusing.

NSW Customer Service Minister – Victor Dominello, is currently managing the roll out of a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport that could potentially be in use in the next few weeks. Whether or not this will actually occur is anyone’s guess at this stage. The current talk is that the QR code check-in will soon be linked with a vaccination status, through the Service NSW app.

Dominello has also confirmed that businesses will not need to police the vaccine passport and to call the police on anyone who fails to use the QR check-in, or who enters premises without being vaccinated. However, there are potential penalties for failing to ensure customers do check-in. The maximum penalty for companies is 500 penalty units, or $55,000, and 250 penalty units, or $27,500 for each day the offence continues

To avoid any discrimination (and realistically, partially in protest), some businesses such as Rashay’s are not opening their doors to dine ins until the 1st of December – which is when un-vaccinated residents are allowed to do so. However, that is not a commercial option for most, so it may simply be a matter of opening and monitoring check-ins. That is not the end of the matter though for workplace relations, dealing with heckling customers over the vaccination status of staff, or discrimination claims from un-vaccinated patrons, which will still be concerns at least until 1 December 2021.

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