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November 30, 2021

Can businesses ask for your vax status?

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Currently, throughout the business community, we are witnessing uncertainty with respect to business owners asking the question – should we ask customers about their vaccine status? Or not?

This is an understandable question when faced with the 53 pages that make up the Public Health (Covid-19 General) Order, dated 3 October 2021 (‘the PHO’). And that Public Health Order has been amended many times since, which only adds to the confusion.

In this note, I will lay out the legal elements of what is required, and what can and cannot be done, by a Business Owner when receiving customers onto their premises.

If you’re interested and want to read along, a copy of the Public Health Orders can be downloaded here.

Under the PHO, Business Owners only really need to look at s.5.3(2).– Business Owners are Only required to have folk check-in using their phone/QR code, or if folk haven’t got their phone handy, then the Business Owner must manually record the name and telephone number of their customer – only their name and telephone number – nothing more is required.

A Business Owner is Not Authorised to verify the vaccine status of a customer. Nowhere under the PHO is that required, so as it is Not Required under the legislation, you don’t do it.

We have all pretty well known or suspected the vaccine status of a customer/client is the Health Information of the customer, and as such is Personal Information that is protected from disclosure at Common Law, (and various pieces of legislation), where only Authorised Officers (for instance a Police Officer, or Health Department Officer), can access or request access to such information under certain circumstances, pursuant to certain legislative powers that do not extend to Business Owners.

Thus, requesting the vaccine status of a customer is Off Limits to a Business Owner – end of story.

A Business Owner is Only required pursuant to s2.18(1) of the PHO to undertake the following: ‘The occupier of the following premises in the general area must take reasonable steps to ensure that an unvaccinated adult is not on the premises’.

It follows then, that the Only ‘reasonable steps’ a Business Owner can take, is compliance with s5.3(2) above, to get people to scan-in, or write down their name and phone number  – and that’s it, legally speaking.

In fact the only way the current PHO can be properly understood, is to realise that the legal burden is Not on the Business Owner per se, rather that, the Legal Onus Is On The Unvaccinated Person To Not Attend Non-Essential Businesses.

So under the current Public Health (Covid-19 General) Order, the above is really all a Business Owner need do – QR scanning or name/telephone number recording, that’s it .. push any more, and you start pushing against the law.

Julian Gillespie – LLB, BJuris, Suffolk Park


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14 COMMENTS

  1. What a load of crap!
    Reasonable steps obviously includes a business owner asking to see the customers’ covid vaccination certificate which have been made readily available for just this purpose.
    A business owner also has a duty of care to avoid avoidable risks for their other customers and a duty to their staff to provide a safe workplace. They also have the right to refuse to serve any customer who presents a health risk to themselves.
    Unvaccinated people present a heightened risk of spreading covid not only to other unvaccinated people and to vulnerable people who cannot be vaccinated for genuine medical reasons but also to those who have done the right thing and got vaccinated. This is because while the vaccines are effective, they are not 100% effective.
    Bruce Townsend BA(Hons) LLB

    • Healthy people with a functioning natural immune response system who do not get sick or become infected with this disease are no threat to anyone. Therefore we do not need a vaccination, let alone a vaccination passport. When this disease first broke out in 2020, none of us were vaccinated, therefore the unvaccinated were the majority. Here are our WHO survival rates without the vaccines: The percentage of the world population who have not died from Covid-19 by the northern summer 2020: UK 99.972%. Belgium 99,944%. Spain 99,956%. Italy 99,957%. Brazil 99.935%. Africa 99,997259%. Australia 99,99669%. USA 99.54%. China 999,99967%. India 99,9935%. Weather or not you are vaccinated now, you were part of this majority when the first wave hit… and survived unscathed! Again, the Who published the overall deathrate world wide as around 0,02% in 2020. I understand the intellectual and emotional difficulties a vaccinated person goes through after he or she experiences re-infection or serious side effects of the vaccines. These vaccination side effects occur in all age groups, whereas the virus in 2020 attacked the old and frail and people who had one or more co-morbidities, just like what happened in similar numbers in many previous flue years. Right from the beginning the management by governments and their health advisors policies were questioned by eminent medical scientists and doctors of all stripes. Hundreds of thousands have signed petitions and public declarations about many aspects of the covid story that are not “approved” to be discussed in the mainstream media. Many are now calling to stop the roll-out even more are calling out: do not vaccinate the children. On July 30, 2021 Dr. Robert Malone, inventor mRNA technology, wihich has been used to create the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines. Dr. Robert Malone calls for a stop of Covid vaccines. He explains that the Covid vaccine can cause enhanced immune response, which creates a worse reaction when exposed to the natural coronavirus. On September 29, 2021 The ABS announced that Covid-19 was the 38th leading cause of death (898 deaths). Put in perspective, there are 37 nasties more likely to fell you than Covid. If the media/medical/political complex was so achingly, compassionately concerned about your health, why not a single word about the 37 more dangerous life-enders in the last 22 month?

      • Theo, I doubt that you’ll read beyond your stated intention to adopt the ostrich strategy when encountering “fear porn”. For anyone interested in what is happening in relation to who is being infected and who’s in hospital, the Age reported on intensive care data, collated as part of an ongoing Australian study called SPRINT-SARI with COVID-19 data from 64 intensive care units.

        “In the first wave, just 20.7 per cent of the 217 ICU admissions were those aged in their 40s or younger. That has risen to 40.1 per cent in the last outbreak, with at least 538 people in their 30s and 40s admitted to intensive care, 134 in their 20s, 37 aged 10 to 19 and a dozen younger children.”

        I can’t post the link but if you search for “ The average age of Australians in ICU due to COVID-19 has plunged by more than a decade as the rolling Delta outbreak causes hundreds of younger people to fall very sick The Age” you’re likely to find it.

        • and where’s you stats on what drugs they were feed and to weaken their immunity so they drowned in their lungs the elderly where killed by giving them remdesavir not by any Covid cold Covid is not and will never be a virus I love how your quotes and uninformed come from government stats when all governments have been payed to lie by the Cabel if you or any Australia’s survive past the next 2 years from the so called vaccinations you will see first hand just how wrong and incorrectly informed you’ve been I suggest you look up a real doctor Dr Judy Mikovitz a maker of vaccines for 40 years and look into the video of the plandemic… If you think the vaccines will save humanity well wait for MARBURG……

  2. What if the business owner chooses to make the vaccination certificate a condition of entry? Surely it’s up to the owners/leaseholders of any property to decide on who enters their premises.

  3. Well julienne you are forgetting that the courts have shown public health orders are overriding your ideas. The problem is people like you on your high horse of limited knowledge are arrogant in dealing with businesses trying to follow these health orders. The small minority of unvaccinated are holding these businesses to ransom by aggressive and humiliating behaviour towards staff and owners. That is the main reason businesses are not opening fully because of self righteous, down right rude behaviour of these people. You can quote all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that you are wrong. How about going and getting vaxxed and stop wasting peoples time and efforts to enjoy a safe environment, not one filled with anger. See you’ve got my blood pressure up every time I read these half truths.

    • Now the unvaxxed are to blame for raising your blood pressure? Next you’ll be blaming them for stubbing your toe. Your attitude and comments are disturbing.

  4. Even without legal training I can see the difference between demanding medical information from some random person on the street to asking a person to voluntarily show proof of their vaccination status to enter a premises.

    If they don’t want to volunteer this information they haven’t met a condition of entry – conditions which the owner or leaseholder has the right to set so long as it doesn’t contravene other legislation eg anti discrimination acts.

    But let’s not kid ourselves here – this has nothing to do with concerns about privacy. After all no one is being asked to fess up to an STD, or hand over a DNA sample. This is about perpetuating the extreme libertarian view that people can’t be compelled to do anything that doesn’t suit them regardless of how much it acts against the public good.

  5. Just as we have a legal right to say who can or cannot come into our homes, business owners not only have a legal right to ask for proof of vaccination to ensure no unvaxed (or unmasked) people enter their businesses, they also have a duty of care to their staff, other customers and the community. People operating premises licensed to sell alcohol also have a legal responsibility to ask for ID to ensure no underage people enter their premises. The legal challenge by Queensland police against mandatory vaccination as a requirement of employment, failed in court.

    Businesses, other than supermarkets, chemists etc., who don’t comply with the legal requirement can be issued with $5,000 fines.

    We are extremely fortunate to have any vaccines to protect us against this terrible deadly disease. They are not perfect, but hopefully with time and more research more effective vaccines may be available.

    People also have a right to choose to vax or not, but they have NO right to put other peoples’ lives and freedoms at risk.

    THIS IS A WORLD WIDE PANDEMIC-MILLIONS HAVE DIED AND MANY MORE ARE SERIOUSLY ILL!!

    • Hi Louise,
      The pandemic was over by June 2020. The rest is is fear porn and death and injury for the vaccinated. Unfortunately people have been sold a dud.
      The unvaccinated should not have to pay for staying healthy without the death shot.

  6. Thanks Jullian for the information you shared. Seems people don’t really understand the law v orders v mandates and this has caused much confusion.

  7. All the shape-shifting chat will continue no matter how often you replay re; law versus public
    orders because the pre-answer’s already known – understood – expected & is ‘being used’
    simply to help continue the argument. It’s a game.

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