New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has put forward the idea of music venues being able to refuse entry to patrons who are not vaccinated for COVID-19.
Speaking to Nine Radio earlier today (January 18), Berejiklian said the move could be an incentive for Australians to get the jab once it’s readily available.
“I don’t ever like to force anybody to do anything… But we’d like there to be an incentive system where people are encouraged to have it because it means they can do all these things which they may otherwise not have been able to do,” she said, as reported by the ABC.
The NSW Premier pointed to airlines as an example of this kind of policy in action. In November, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce had indicated international travellers would need to be vaccinated before they board one of its flights.
“We will also consider whether we allow venues to [have a similar policy] — and venues do that already, people make up their own rules if they run a business or have a workplace about what they feel is COVID-safe,” Berejiklian said.
“Whilst it’s the Federal Government’s responsibility in terms of the vaccine and the rollout, all workplaces and state governments will have a say in encouraging people to take it.”
Labor health spokesperson Ryan Park said the state opposition supported the notion, but education around the vaccine was crucial.
“We’ve also got to be aware we have a high portion of people from non-English speaking backgrounds,” he said.
“We’ve got to make it as easy as possible for them to trust the vaccination program, know that their details will be kept secure and know that they will be able to get safely vaccinated against this terrible virus.”
Australia is expected to roll out the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines from February, once they approved by the nation’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.