Australia’s pub operators have come out in support of a vaccine passport to enable the re-opening of Australian venues.

A growing number of heavy hitters including Craig Laundy of Laundy Hotels and Merivale chief Justin Hemmes are pushing for a vaccine certificate, with Hemmes reportedly favouring an interim passport that will allow vaccinated patrons back into venues.

The idea of mandatory jabs for workers is also finding strong support in the broader hospitality sector with a survey by Restaurants & Catering Australia finding that 63 per cent of hospitality business owners support the idea.

As a younger workforce, however, access to vaccines has been a challenge, and to address this, dozens of hospitality operators around the country representing more than 450 venues around Australia – led by Melbourne start-up and online platform Mr Yum – have called for priority access to vaccinations for younger hospitality workers in a joint letter to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) agrees and is calling for a special vaccination day for young workers in hospitality, similar to the one held for tradies, at Sydney Olympic Park.

The AHA’s NSW Director of Liquor and Policing, John Green, told Australian Hotelier that a vaccine passport would offer an interim measure to enable those venues that wanted to open earlier to do so.

Hopes of an imminent reopening of venues for vaccinated staff and patrons in Sydney, however, has been hosed down by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as cases continue to climb. In a media conference held last weekend she said: “I do not want to raise expectations in terms of hospitality”.

In terms of reopening, Green agreed that given the escalating cases in Sydney, it was unlikely that pubs would reopen in the short term. He stressed, however, the importance of planning for the future and getting the workforce vaccinated.

“Most hospitality staff are a bit younger, so they are a bit further down the queue. Just as with tradie Sunday, we want to see a super Sunday for hospitality where staff turn up with their RSA card and get jabbed.

“We need a level of certainty and we need hope. A lot of our members are struggling because they spent their capital in the first lockdown, and close to 75,000 of staff have now been stood down across NSW.

“The next key step is for as many people who can to get vaccinated so we can be in a stronger position to have this conversation.”

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1 Comment

  1. So if employers require employees to be vaccinated, will they be liable for injuries and deaths caused by the vaccines? Employers should do some serious homework before embarking on such dangerous territory.

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