The Hunter’s leading advocate for business, Business Hunter, acknowledges that vaccination conversations may be hard for businesses to have with a small number of patrons, but is urging businesses and community to encourage vaccination participation to help with the roll-out of the NSW COVID-19 Roadmap and the Economic Recovery Plan in October this year.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes, said the next few weeks would reveal in more detail just what is being asked of business and what supports will be in place to help keep venues safe and trading as normally as possible.
“What we are now fully trying to understand for the open-up is, ‘What will be required of business owners in terms of compliance with the QR Codes on check-in and the integration of vaccination certificates as permission to enter premises?’” Mr Hawes said.
“This is going to be pretty complex and it will have different implications for different sectors. There is potential to put a lot of onus on businesses to enforce vaccination compliance, so we’re making enquiries around how this is going work and what the government is expecting and asking of businesses,” Mr Hawes said.
“We understand that this is what the NSW Government is working through now, and they’re having to do all of this quickly and with no precedent, so keep talking to us to let us know your thoughts or concerns and we’ll take that back to government,” he said.
Business Hunter understands that the vaccination certificates will form part of the COVID-19 QR Code check-in process and will have the same expectation for enforcement at a business level as many of the other changes brought forward by the pandemic – all of which took some adjustment, patience and understanding by the community.
“I think unfortunately there will be a period where awkward conversations take place for some businesses, just like they did with restricted numbers, QR codes and mask wearing.
“We know the government will be simply asking business to do their best. It is up to the community to understand that businesses want to serve them, but they also want to restore trade for the long term and avoid ongoing lockdowns that will come through high levels of community transmission or low vaccination in communities who are not medically exempt.
“Unfortunately for businesses and people who are choosing not to be vaccinated, this difficulty is going to be a fact of life for a little while. That’s one of the distressing impacts of a global pandemic and why we need to get in front of it.
“The focus for business is to re-open and introduce measures that support them to stabilise their operations and cash-flow. The government’s focus should remain on stabilising the health of the population, and the health of the economy through stimulating business because the alternative of remaining in lockdown won’t be what anyone wants.
“Repeating the long-term lockdown formulas of 2020-21 for a third year running equates to businesses closing and closing for good, a distressed healthcare system, and an empty Treasury. It is incumbent on all of us to make this Roadmap work.
“It really is time to band together and make a small sacrifice for our neighbours and business community - think about what things look like if we don’t do everything we can to contain this pandemic. We don’t have to look far to find examples like the UK, USA and Canada where less measured approaches have seen a reversion to case numbers blowing out and a clogging of the health systems,”