NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has suggested businesses may be able to refuse service to customers who haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccination in an effort to encourage more people to come forward for the jab in coming months.
“I don’t ever like to force anybody to do anything,” Berejiklian told Nine Radio.
“But we’d like there to be an incentive system where people are encouraged to have it because it means they can do all these things which they may otherwise not have been able to do.”
Australia is set to rollout vaccinations from mid-February, with those over 80 and essential health workers the first on the list.
Zero local transmissions
The news comes as NSW records zero new locally acquired transmissions of COVID-19 and Victoria declares the majority of Sydney an orange zone.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty says investigations are ongoing to establish the source of seven local cases reported over the weekend. Genome sequencing suggests all seven cases are linked to the Berala cluster.
“While an epidemiological link has not yet been made, there is the possibility that others in the community may have the virus,” McAnulty said.
National cabinet to discuss the rollout of vaccinations
Berejiklian said she would be discussing how to encourage people to take up the option of vaccination. The premier said that the state and federal governments would work together to devise a plan to ensure people would be “incentivised” to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
The premier said many businesses were already making up their own rules as to what they feel is COVID-safe and cited airlines as a case in point. Whereby anyone planning to travel (once overseas flights are reinstated) will need to be vaccinated.
“We will also consider whether we allow venues to [do the same]” she said.
“Whilst it’s the Federal Government’s responsibility in terms of the vaccine and the rollout, all workplaces and state governments will have a say in encouraging people to take it.”
Vaccine is safe
The premier said she would encourage people to start thinking about the vaccination and stressed any vaccine rolls out will be put through rigorous testing before gaining TGA approval.
“The more people that are vaccinated, the greater likelihood that we can have a return to normality as we know it,” she said.
Despite low cases of transmission Berejiklian again encouraged people to come forward for testing as NSW tests dropped to a mere 8773.
“Given where we are in the pandemic we really need to get those testing numbers up so that we can feel confident in moving forward and easing some of those restrictions.”
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