Scenic Rim's unvaccinated residents to face tougher restrictions

UNJABBED: Anyone not double vaccinated by December 17 will not be banned from venues including pubs, restaurants, sporting arenas and cinemas.
UNJABBED: Anyone not double vaccinated by December 17 will not be banned from venues including pubs, restaurants, sporting arenas and cinemas.

THE state government has revealed new rules for lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on December 17 and not everyone in the Scenic Rim is happy with the news.

The government says only people who are double vaccinated for COVID will be allowed into hospitality, sporting and government venues.

These include pubs, clubs, music events, sporting stadiums and theme parks as well as government owned art galleries, museums and libraries.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said council had not been given any direction on changes to who can attend local government facilities.

"At the moment it does not change anything about how we operate," he said.

"Anyone operating an event (at a council venue) may choose to have different controls above what is required by council."

Kooralbyn's Copperhead cafe owner Lizzie Wallin said she did not want to refuse entry to anyone but would comply with the regulations and ask customers for proof of vaccination.

"From what I understand it is a legal requirement and it will be part of the check-in app," she said.

The Club Beaudesert could lose staff members as the rules also specify that all must be vaccinated.

"We have a couple who are not vaccinated and I've had to tell them that they will be stood down. I don't want to lose any of them but now these restrictions have been mandated I don't have a choice.

"And customers will have to prove they are vaccinated before they can get into the club.

"We will also have to get in touch with people who have booked events like weddings to let them know if guests are not vaccinated they won't be allowed to have as many people as they'd like."

Beaudesert Police Station officer in charge Ken Murray said as restrictions eased there would be responsibility on business owners to restrict access for unvaccinated customers.

"We hope people will understand and comply if they face restrictions for being unvaccinated," he said.

"Police are expecting a busy time ahead but I'm hopeful it will all go well. We haven't issued any fines in town for breaches so far.

"But if anyone creates an issue police will be called. We always try to be compassionate and reason with people but if they continue to refuse to comply we may be forced to issue fines or arrest them."

Senior Sergeant Murray said police would operate as usual but it could impact response times for minor matters like noise complaints as the new rules come into play on December 17.

"It might take longer for police to get to certain jobs but at the end of the day if you really need us, we're always going to be there," he said.

Sergeant Murray said he looked forward to a time when the district reached the 90 per cent vaccination target to get us closer to normality.

Scenic Rim Division 2 councillor Jeff McConnell, who has chosen not to be vaccinated, said the move constituted a gross violation of human rights.

"Will this mean that parents who aren't vaccinated won't be able to watch their kids at sporting events?" he said.

"Will it mean I can't go and play golf or meet friends at the club house?

"This is a draconian measure to force people into getting vaccinated. No one can force a person to put something they don't want in their body."

The vaccine mandate could have an impact on festivals and events planned for later this year including the Quick Street drag race fundraiser to be held at Kooralbyn the day after the mandate comes into effect.

Are the new rules a reward for the vaccinated or a punishment for the unvaccinated? Have your say here: