What the new vaccination rules mean for cafe owners in Queensland

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The Coffee Commune

There has been a lot of news and buzz surrounding the Queensland Government’s recent announcement about the new vaccination rules coming into play from 17 December 2021 (or when the state reaches a vaccination rate of 80% of the eligible population).

We wanted to provide cafe owners with the facts so when the time comes, you can be prepared. Here’s what the new rules mean for cafes in Queensland.

All staff and patrons are required to be vaccinated

In line with the new rules, both staff and patrons must be fully vaccinated to work in or visit any of the venues where restrictions will be in place, and that includes all cafes in Queensland.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that their staff are fully vaccinated by 17 December 2021 if they intend to continue working in the cafe.

Fines for business owners not adhering to these new rules range from $1,378 on-the-spot fines to $14,000 for a court ordered fine.

Vaccination status will be aligned with the check-in app

A person is considered fully vaccinated when they have had two doses of a TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccine. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the Check In Qld app will be updated to include a person’s vaccination status.

Staff should check, but not police, vaccination status

The Queensland Government and Queensland Police say it’s not up to businesses to “police” the vaccination status of their patrons, however, they expect venues to display the vaccination rules and ask their patrons for confirmation as they would ask that they’ve checked in using the Check In Qld app.

If the patron is unable to provide evidence, you can ask that person to leave and if they refuse to leave, call the police. People with genuine reasons for not being vaccinated, such as medical conditions, will need to have either paper or electronic proof.

Note that it is still a requirement for Queenslanders to use the Check In Qld app. This is to support contact tracing if there is a case at a venue. Make sure your business is set up for the Check In Qld app.

Density limits are being scrapped

The new rules mean that from 17 December 2021, previous COVID-19 density limits will be scrapped. Currently, cafes with indoor settings are restricted to having 1 person per 2 square metres in the vicinity at any given time.

Quick checklist:

– Meet with staff to check that they’re across the new rules – there’s still time for staff to get vaccinated in time for 17 December if they’re intending to.

– Set up your business with the Check In Qld app if you haven’t already, and print out the relevant signage to display in your cafe.

– Agree on a process internally for monitoring cafe patrons use of the Check In Qld app and vaccination status – make sure everyone’s on the same page as to whose responsibility it is. Remember, as a business owner you’re personally liable for breaches to the new rules in your premises.

– Remember, from 17 December, density limits will be dropped.

These rules are part of Queensland’s Public Health Measures connected to vaccine status plan. For more information, visit the Queensland Health website.

The Coffee Commune