Major QLD hotels will ban unvaccinated guests to avoid risky restriction loophole

Aerial view of The Gold Coast strip, Queensland, Australia

Major hotels in Queensland will refuse bookings from unvaccinated guests to avoid navigating the state’s COVID rules.

As per its reopening roadmap, QLD will allow quarantine-free interstate travel for those who are fully vaccinated on 17 December, when the state is due to hit its 80 per cent vaccination target.

To bolster against outbreaks, the state will ban unvaccinated people who don’t have an exemption from entering hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants or cafes as well as both indoor and outdoor entertainment venues which rules out almost all tourist activities.

However, unvaccinated people will be allowed to book and stay at hotels and other accommodations, which many believe will be difficult to police for those with food and beverage or entertainment offerings on site.

The Queensland Hotel Association (QHA) said in a statement that many of the restrictions need to be clarified before interstate travel can kick off again.

The organisation told members it is seeking clarification from the state government on a number of matters, including what “reasonable steps” hotels are required to take against unvaccinated customers, and whether the restrictions apply for take-away food and beverages.

Several hotels have told ABC News that they will likely refuse bookings from unvaccinated guests in response to the restrictions.

Among them, David Hay from Kingfisher Bay Resort on K’gari said the onus shouldn’t be on tourism operators to enforce government guidelines.

“It’s unreasonable to expect our staff to police those things — it’s not their job,” he told ABC News.

David Brooks, the manager of Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast said the property would also require its guests to be fully vaccinated.

Brooks, whose daughter was “bedridden for months” after contracting COVID last year, said allowing guests into some areas of the resort but not others would be too hard to police.

“Having guests not vaccinated walking around the property using all the facilities puts the majority at risk, along with our staff who have already reached the 99 per cent vaccination rate,” he told ABC News. 

“Overall it’s taking what has been mandated anyway by the government and leading the way.”

Some campgrounds will also be off-limits to unvaccinated guests, including stays at Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island after the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation announced those wishing to stay with Minjerribah or Mulgumpin Camping would have to provide a vaccine certificate seven days in advance.

While state-run campgrounds won’t require proof of vaccine, ABC News reported that the Department of Environment is still working with QLD Health on the rules.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on 9 November that from 17 December 2021, all staff and patrons in hospitality venues are to be fully vaccinated.


Image: iStock.com/shannonstent

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