Queensland businesses face $13,785 penalties for serving unvaccinated customers


Brisbane, Queensland. Source: Unsplash.

COVID-19 restrictions are set to ease in Queensland for fully vaccinated people only, meaning small businesses will have to check customers’ vaccination status on arrival.

For those that don’t take reasonable steps to comply, fines of $13,785 — or six months’ jail time — could apply.

These are the rules for small businesses in Queensland regarding unvaccinated customers, and the penalties for breaking them.

What’s changing in Queensland?

From December 17, 2021, or when 80% of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, restrictions will ease in the state, meaning there will be no capacity restrictions for the vast majority of businesses.

However restrictions will only ease for people who have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

That means small business owners and their staff will have to check customers’ vaccine status, and turn away those that are not fully vaccinated.

The vaccination rules will apply to both staff and customers.

Unvaccinated people will not be able to visit non-essential businesses, including hospitality venues such as pubs, hotels, restaurants and cafes, or indoor venues such as cinemas, live music venues or theatres.

Unvaccinated people will also be unable to attend outdoor events such as festivals or tourism experiences, and if any unvaccinated person is attending a wedding, it is limited to a maximum of 20 people.

Essential businesses can choose to deny entry to unvaccinated customers if they wish. With regards to vaccination mandates for staff, those businesses are advised to seek independent legal advice.

What do small business owners have to do?

Small business owners must take reasonable steps to enforce restrictions for unvaccinated people.

That means clearly displaying the rules at your business premises, and making it clear that people must be able to prove their vaccination status to enter.

Staff must ask customers for evidence of vaccination at the point they check in.

The onus is on the individual to produce proof of vaccination. If the customer cannot prove they are double-vaccinated, or produce an exemption, the business owner or staff must ask them to leave the premises.

If the person refuses to leave the premises, business owners are encouraged to call the police.

“We don’t expect business owners or staff to be the police,” the Queensland government directives say.

What are the penalties for Queensland businesses that don’t comply with vaccine mandates?

The maximum penalty for businesses that do not comply with the vaccination health direction is 100 penalty units, which equates to a fine of $13,785.

Or business owners could face up to six months’ imprisonment.

Fines will be issued by Queensland police.

The fine for businesses is 10-times that for individuals who break the rules.

Find more information on the new rules here.


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10 days ago

6 months in jail for being too busy to implement mindless government mandates. What a wonderful free country we live in.