Hospitality staff abused as patrons push back on COVID-19 requirements

WA Premier Mark McGowan said patrons abusing staff for requesting proof of vaccinations was
WA Premier Mark McGowan said patrons abusing staff for requesting proof of vaccinations was "not the Western Australian way". Photo: File image

Western Australians are being urged to respect hospitality staff after venues reported employees have been abused when asking patrons to provide proof of vaccination.

WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson announced on Monday that patrons wishing to enter a number of venues and events classified as "high risk" would need to provide proof of double vaccination, starting on Tuesday January 4.

If anyone has strong feelings about measures put in place by Government, write to your local member of parliament, rather than ranting to the person serving you a beer.

Bradley Woods, AHA WA

The move has led to confrontations and abuse hurled at staff outside the entrances to venues across the State.

Premier Mark McGowan said being rude to staff at any time was "not the Western Australian way".

"If you're asked to show your proof of vaccination, don't be a dropkick," Mr McGowan said on Thursday.

"Requiring proof of vaccination for higher risk venues means that everyone in attendance is safer.

"It's already been rolled out in some other states and there is no reason WA can't do it too."

Venues required to check vaccine status include pubs, taverns and hotels with a capacity of more than 500 people opening after midnight, nightclubs and the Crown Casino gaming floor as well as venues with special licenses to sell liquor with a capacity of more than 500 people such as function centres, sports arenas and auctions.

Music festivals and major events with more than 500 people and events with an occasional liquor licence, including boats, live performances and fundraisers are also required to request proof of double vaccination.

The Australian Hotels Association (WA) asked "disruptive and argumentative patrons" to remember hospitality venues are places to relax and socialise, not sermonise.

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The Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said staff working in hospitality venues should not be abused or preached at by a small minority who oppose the current requirements imposed by the State government.

"Sadly, hospitality venues are reporting an increased number of patrons being argumentative and abusive with hospitality staff who are simply doing their jobs and it is completely unacceptable," Mr Woods said.

"We have received reports of confrontations at venue entrances from those who refuse to wear a mask or provide proof of vaccination."

"Under the State of Emergency Directions, patrons who have a legitimate exemption are legally required to produce it to enter the venue."

"Venue owners, operators and managers have a legal obligation to comply with health directions, whether it be mask mandates or proof of vaccination requirements - they do not pick and choose which rules they want to abide by."

"WA's hospitality staff go to work to provide hospitality and shouldn't be subjected to abuse from people who have an axe to grind with the Government over COVID-19 restrictions."

"The vast majority of Western Australians value hospitality staff and have provided much-needed support to WA's bars, pubs, taverns and restaurants over the past two years."

"If anyone has strong feelings about measures put in place by Government, write to your local member of parliament, rather than ranting to the person serving you a beer."

Vaccination status can be downloaded to your phone via the MyGov or Medicare mobile apps, or printed after signing into the MyGov website.

Have you experienced abuse or complaints when asking patrons to sign in, or show proof of vaccination? Let us know here.