Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain is praising Eden-Monaro businesses and individuals for speaking up and ensuring a common-sense approach to vaccination requirements for the hospitality sector was adopted by the NSW Government.
The NSW Government confirmed that from Monday 11 October when the state reaches 70% double dose vaccinations, only fully vaccinated people will be able to attend hospitality venues.
When the 70% roadmap was announced last month, and in the press conferences that followed, the NSW Government said the double dose vaccination requirement would also apply to hospitality staff.
Ms McBain said she was approached by numerous hospitality businesses who were deeply concerned that due to the delayed vaccine rollout in regional areas, many of their staff members would fail to meet that deadline.
“While the vaccination rates across Eden-Monaro are exemplary, there’s still a large portion who are attempting to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and through no fault of their own, will not be fully vaccinated by October 11,” Ms McBain said.
“I immediately wrote to the NSW Minister for Health, the Deputy Premier and the Member for Bega to request the state Government adopt a similar approach for hospitality workers to that in place for NSW Health staff.
Under the Public Health Order, NSW Health employees need to have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 30 September 2021 and they need to be fully vaccinated by 30 November 2021 in order to continue working in the NSW public health system.
“Thankfully common-sense has prevailed and the new order is that staff in regional local government areas only need to prove one vaccine dose and a booking for a second dose to be able to continue working,” Ms McBain said.
“This will be a huge relief for the many businesses that approached me seeking my support to ensure they could open as planned. Our small businesses need to focus on recovering from what has been a dreadful two years and thankfully this is one less burden for them to overcome.
“A lot of hospitality staff are younger workers, including many who are not yet 18 years old. These younger cohorts have only recently become eligible to receive a vaccine; and while many have done the right thing and booked in straight away, due to delayed access to supply, there are a lot of people who are still waiting to receive their first dose - let alone their second.
“I didn’t want to see businesses and individuals in regional areas unfairly punished simply because they haven’t had the same access to vaccines as our city counterparts.
“Thank you to all the businesses and individuals who brough this issue to my attention, I look forward to you opening next week and I encourage everyone who is vaccinated to please get out, shop local and support our businesses – they need community support more now than ever.”