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The Vaccine Mandate for Hospitality Workers Has Changed

Rules for the industry changed as Victoria emerged from lockdown last week. Here’s what it means for you.

Rules outlined in Victoria’s reopening roadmap originally required hospitality workers to have one vaccine dose to return to work, and to be fully vaccinated by November 26. Two days before lockdown lifted, the requirements changed. Now, all hospitality employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to work.

Premier Daniel Andrews apologised for the last-minute change and explained the decision in a press conference last week. “I don’t think that anyone would find fault with the logic that says if I must be double-dosed to sit down and order a beer or a glass of wine, then the person who’s serving me needs to be double-dosed also,” he said.

Covid response commander Jeroen Weimar echoed the Premier’s statements.

"We would expect the people that are now being asked to please come back into work are the first ones to have got themselves organised to get themselves fully vaccinated, so that they can serve their customers."

Australian Hotels Association Victoria chief executive Paddy O'Sullivan said the late shift has left venues understaffed.

“Staff are distraught, having been basically on and off at their workplace for the last 18 months or more. It is very, very upsetting,” he told the Australian Associated Press.

The AHA wants to reinstate a grace period so staff can return to work while they wait to get fully vaccinated.

Photography: Pete Dillon

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