The state government has scrambled to end confusion and anger over the vaccine mandate for hospitality, hairdressers and beauty industry workers in regards to double vaccinations rules.
On the day regional Victoria is able to ease its restrictions, deputy Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie finally gave some clarity as to the rules surrounding the affected industries.
Venues who don't have all staff fully vaccinated can continue to operate for now as long as all staff have at least one dose, but they cannot take the next step in the government's roadmap and cannot allow more people in their doors.
Only venues with all staff in attendance fully-vaccinated can take the next step, which would mean opening to 30 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
The Department of Health and Human Services released this statement just hours before restrictions are due to change.
"Hospitality staff including cooks, waiters, and all other staff working in restaurants, pubs and cafes will need to be fully vaccinated for venues in regional Victoria to increase capacity.
"If all attendees are fully vaccinated, venues can open to 30 people indoors and 100 people outdoors with density limits.
"This will come into effect when restrictions ease from 11.59pm Thursday 21 October and will also apply to other industries where staff and patrons are mixing.
"Hospitality businesses in regional Victoria can continue to open if the vaccine status of staff and customers is unknown but will be limited to 30 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.
"Vaccines save lives and will allow us to open up in line with the roadmap."
The confirmation of new rules contradicts what the government had said earlier in the week, as well as what had been previously published in the roadmap.
Shamrock Hotel owner and Australian Hotels Association Victoria executive board member Ray Sharawara said the mandate had caused concern for pubs, cafes and restaurants after the state government online health directions had earlier stated authorised workers, including hospitality, must have one dose of a vaccine by October 22, with a second dose required by November 26.
Mr Sharawara said the late changes would affect some businesses more than others.
"What that has done is cause fair bit of concern," he said.
"For our particular business (the Shamrock), it has cause some angst but we have enough staff to cope with that. We will be under a little bit of stress but can cope."
Both Premier Dan Andrews and COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar had earlier this week said all hospitality staff would need to be double vaccinated for a venue to open as of Friday, October 22.
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