There’s been a lot talk about whether businesses in the near future will have the right to refuse entry to unvaccinated customers. Well, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has now weighed in on the matter, saying businesses can refuse entry and service to unvaccinated Australians. He made the controversial comments in parliament on Wednesday.
“That’s a legitimate thing for them to do,” he said, The Courier Mail reports. “They’re doing that to protect their own workers, to protect their other clients. It’s got nothing to do with ideology, or these issues around liberty. We all believe in freedom, but we also believe in people being healthy.
“And the simple fact is, if you’re not vaccinated you present a greater health risk to yourself, to your family, to your community and others about you.”
Under exisiting laws, a business or shop can refuse entry or service to any person, as long as they don’t breach anti-discrimination laws based on race, age, gender or disability. That means a business can turn away customers who cannot prove they’ve been vaccinated against the virus. As of Thursday, 17.4 million Aussies have been given at least one dose of the Covid-19 jab.
Morrison’s comments have draw mixed reaction online. “People are still free to make the choice to get the vaccine, but they have to live with the consequences for their choice,” one person wrote. “Same as every decision in life.”
Others argued it’s no different to the ‘no jab, no play’ policy for children. “We vaccinate our children and if they aren’t they can’t go to school for the safety of all the children,” one commented. “This is no different, grow up and have the jab, so Australia can move forward.”
Another added: “It’s just an extension of ‘no jab, no play’… why are people so surprised?”
However, others weren’t too happy with the decision, with one writing: “Hopefully these businesses who are going to refuse the unvaccinated will also have to be listed so that people can avoid them.”
Meanwhile, one business owner said they’ll be welcoming everyone: “My business is going to accept covid positive people. I’ve been closed for so long, not refusing any money.”
Some businesses have already started to roll out a mandatory vaccine policy. Qantas announced last week it would require all of its staff to be vaccinated. And last month, food manufacturer SPC became the first Australia company to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine among its employees.