When the state-wide lockdown is lifted, Queensland will allow supermarkets and other businesses providing essential services to implement vaccine passports. The provision could deny those without a vaccine passport easy access to food and other basics.
Queensland will reopen its borders this week. The Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that once the borders reopen, new health directives will be released, which could be less strict on businesses that have implemented health mandates.
“In the coming days, the Government will issue the guidelines required for business and industry as our border reopens,” she said in a statement.
“This will include information on managing close contacts in the workplace.
“Our objective is to provide an environment where business, particularly essential business, remains open.”
Starting December 17, Queenslanders will be required to show a vaccine passport to enter restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas, theaters, museums, libraries, and stadiums.
The vaccine passport mandate does not apply to businesses providing essential services, like supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and post offices. However, the Small Business Minister Di Farmer said that essential services can implement vaccine passports if they choose to, especially if they want to continue operations without restrictions.
“The essential services are the things that really remained open during lockdown,” Farmer told 4BC Radio on Wednesday.
“There will also be a range of other businesses who may make the choice just to only have their vaccinated staff and patrons using their business.”
In a press conference on December 9, Farmer explained that every business would be allowed to enforce vaccine passports.
“Any business is able to make that decision, and a lot of them are actually thinking about that very seriously,” she said.
“[When Queensland opens up] you will need to be protected and businesses all over Queensland will be making that decision.
“If a person decides not to be vaccinated, then those are the things that they will take into consideration.”