Two thirds of readers of The Australian Financial Review back the right of businesses to refuse entry to staff or customers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a fortnightly poll.
In the poll of 448 readers, 67 per cent agree that once most Australians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, hospitality venues should be able to refuse entry to unvaccinated people. Just 27 per cent of readers surveyed were against the idea while 6 per cent were unsure.
One reader argued a “vaccination passport would open the economy – and marginalise those who won’t get vaccinated” while a separate reader suggested those “unable to have the vaccine for medical purposes should be issued with an appropriate certificate for general entry”.
One reader asked why there should be such harsh rules for those who choose not to get the vaccination “when medicos admit it does not stop transmission”.
An almost equal proportion (68 per cent) said Australian businesses should be able to insist that employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter work premises.
One reader suggested this should apply to “certain occupations”, with a separate reader agreeing those those who work for airlines, on trains, buses or taxis should be vaccinated “and employers should be able to ask for proof of vaccination and have the right to refuse admittance or employment to those without certification”.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says says 7.3 million jabs have been administered, with close to 30 per cent of eligible Australians having received their first dose of the vaccine.
When the survey was taken late last week a third of readers (33 per cent) said their travel plans had been disrupted by the ban on Sydney residents leaving the metropolitan area. Since then 12 million Australians across Greater Sydney, Darwin, Perth and heavily populated areas of Queensland have been thrust into lockdown, further limiting travel in the first week of the school holidays.
Beyond COVID-19 news, readers have delivered a dim view of Barnaby Joyce’s reinstatement as leader of the Nationals on Monday last week.
Half of readers believe it will hurt the government’s chances of a re-election while just 22 per cent think it will help, with 16 per cent saying it will make no difference and 12 per cent unsure.
More than half (62 per cent) of the readers did say they disprove of Mr Joyce’s reinstatement, with only 24 per cent saying the approved of the move by the Nats.
“I am in a Nationals electorate and unlikely to vote for them – although not sure Labor is much better. Unfortunately looks like vote for the ‘least worse’ once again,” said one reader.
“Barnaby will show up [Scott] Morrison’s lack of strong leadership on key issues like climate,” said another.
The Reserve Bank has said that interest rates will not rise until 2024 but only 26 per cent of Financial Review respondents believe it with 58 per cent expecting a rise earlier.