When NSW opens on Monday, life will be markedly different for the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The 51 days until December 1 when the rules for unvaccinated fall into line with covid rules for everyone mean unvaccinated people can only go out for essential items until then.
Unvaccinated people can go to to supermarkets, chemists, garden centres, nurseries, hardware and building stores. kiosks, rural supply shops, butchers, and other shops serving foods but not restaurants and cafes. They can also go to shops that carry out repairs to mobile phones.
Tegan Knight is unvaccinated.
“Believe me, the consequences of my decision expand far more then having to worry about how I am going to shop come Monday,” Tegan said.
“I also lose my job on the exact same day because I chose for personal reasons to decline the vaccine, so I guess in a way I’ll not be able to afford to shop, so the fact that I’m not allowed to under the government’s new rules to enter certain shops won’t even matter to me.”
Tegan said the situation was deflating and discriminating.
“I’m absolutely not an anti-vaxer but the comments I’ve had towards me over my choices is very insulting. I’m old enough and wise enough to make my own decisions and I’m quite happy to deal with the consequences,” she said.
Ally School, mother of triplets, said she will shop online.
“We don’t like taking our triplets down the street very often as people think it’s okay to remove their masks and get too close to their faces. It’s a novelty to others to see triplets, but a big hassle for us if they are to get sick,” Ally said.
“I probably will get vaccinated eventually, I’m hesitant because of a dodgy heart and too much responsibility to be knocked over for a couple of days.”
Jo Marshall hasn’t had a jab.
“I probably will, but until then I will be extremely careful, washing my hands or sanitising, wearing a mask when I go out and make sure I social distance,” she said.
“The question that should be asked, is not how people who are unvaccinated will shop once lockdown is lifted, but why can they then go back on December 1 without repercussion? What is happening between October 11 and December 1?”
Jo Marshalll makes a fair point.
For the State Government it is about the vaccination rates. When the state hits 80% double doses of vaccinations, the government has said it is safe to remove the restrictions on the unvaccinated.
Espresso Edge cafe in Kyogle wrote on their Facebook page about the opening and how they will operate.
“Proof of vaccination is required for customers who will be dining in. Please be prepared to show proof of vaccination unless you are ordering your coffees and meals to takeaway.”
Lazy Labrador in Casino said proof of vaccination would be required on entry to their cafe.
All retail staff must be vaccinated.
The State Government recently changed the rules for regional NSW saying workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose.
Cale Berry said she had the solution – “Three little words…….click and collect.”
Businesses will be required to take reasonable steps to prevent unvaccinated customers from entering their venue, such as: appropriate signage advising customers what areas are restricted, having QR codes clearly visible and accessible and be able to check and accept all valid forms of the vaccination certificate.
Businesses will not be held accountable for individuals who commit fraud, or otherwise manage to enter the venue unvaccinated, as long as reasonable steps such as those listed above have been put in place to comply with the public health orders.
Police can assist, where required if a customer fails to comply with general directions by staff or becomes aggressive.
This isn’t going to be an easy 51 days.