WA tourism industry welcomes vaccine mandate saying it brings clarity

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that Covid vaccinations will be mandatory for large sectors of the workforce including some in the tourism sector.

The three sectors on the government’s list represent three quarters of the state’s workforce.

Under the requirements, employees in tourism businesses such as restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, public and commercial transport, hotels, motels and other accommodation providers will be required to be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022.

“It is proportionate and reasonable, and is aimed at preparing Western Australia safely for the inevitable community transmission,” McGowan said.

He also called on those not in the list of sectors not to wait until the last minute to get jabbed, saying “the time is now”.

“I want to make it abundantly clear that everyone who is eligible should get the Covid-19 vaccine now as we all need to be prepared for the event of community transmission or a lockdown,” he said.

“Don’t wait for the deadly Delta variant to enter before you consider getting the vaccine. Get the Covid-19 vaccine now.”

A recent industry survey showed more than 70 per cent of tourism businesses supported State Government mandating vaccination requirements rather than it being left to businesses to implement their own vaccination policy.

Tourism Council WA welcomed the announcement, saying it provided clarity for the industry on what was required of them when it came to vaccination.

“The mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements announced today by the Premier provides clarity and a level playing field for businesses,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

“We look forward to consulting with the State Government on tourism businesses not covered by today’s announcement. There are a range of tourism operators and staff who will be in contact with guests, eventually from interstate and overseas, which are not explicitly covered by the announcement, such as tour guides, event employees and staff working in attractions.”