While the ACT Government has never mandated proof of vaccination for entry into private business premises as was previously the case in NSW, some Canberra businesses are taking matters into their own hands and enforcing their own mandate.
One of those businesses is the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre. General Manager John Raut says the decision was a matter of “personal judgement”.
“At the moment there are millions of people that are testing positive, and I think that people feel a little bit more confident heading into our facility knowing that every single person that comes in is double vaccinated,” said Mr Raut.
“In two years we’ve been shut down for 12 months and lost $1.5 million in revenue and we’d just like to take every precaution. I don’t know whether it does any good or doesn’t, but I think at the moment if everyone’s at least double vaccinated then we are doing our bit and that’s the way we are going to remain.”
Another factor influencing the centre’s ongoing mandate is that they believe it ensures they’re doing everything they can to keep their staff and guests safe.
An ACT Government spokesperson said private businesses have the right to refuse service to customers for legitimate reasons.
The government’s decision to avoid mandated proof of vaccination for entry into businesses in the ACT is the result of high vaccination levels. It has, however, made mask-wearing indoors mandatory and double vaccination is a condition of employment in some industries.
The ACT Chief Health Officer has issued Public Health Emergency Directions for residential aged care facility workers, school, early childhood education and care facility workers, hospital, hospice, Canberra Health Services facility, and patient transport workers, disability support workers or aged care workers that provide in-home and community supports.
“In these situations, and under public health directions, people will be required to provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status, or of an authorised exemption to vaccination.”