Premier Investments Chairman Solomon Lew said yesterday that once Victoria and New South Wales are out of lockdown, only vaccinated people should be allowed in shopping malls:
“It’s our strong preference that the government mandates that all persons entering a mall be vaccinated and temperature checked as well,” Mr Lew said.
Mr Lew said he would not be comfortable sitting down in a food court next to someone who was unvaccinated, and noted it was important the onus for enforcing the rules was placed on shopping centre owners as it would not be practical for each store to have its own marshals checking customers’ vaccination status.
“The centre owners have an absolute responsibility to ensure that the venue is not only safe for the entire family shopping experience, but to ensure that our retail staff have nothing to fear by trying to earn a living working in retail stores,” he said.
I have two shops in Westfield centres. Both shops have been open throughout the pandemic. I know of plenty of small business retailers who have been open throughout. I see no reason to block access to only the vaccinated. Our stringent protocols for staff and customers have, so far, maintained a safe workplace and shopping experience.
It is disappointing that media outlets are giving Lew’s opinions a run today without speaking with the many small business retailers who have been open throughout the pandemic.