NSW Covid Update: Brad Hazzard Contradicts Police Chief Over Vaccine Enforcement | Australian Police and Police
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard insists police will be responsible for enforcing entry restrictions on unvaccinated people – a position at odds with the Police Commissioner of the State which said officers “would not walk into restaurants, cafes and pubs to check if people are double vaccinated.” ”.
The state has recorded 863 new cases and seven deaths in the past 24 hours, but has achieved a full vaccination rate of 60.4%, approaching the 70% target which will trigger an easing of restrictions, likely October 11.
The government is preparing to issue public health orders prohibiting unvaccinated people from accessing certain businesses and places, until at least December 1.
Attention quickly turned to how orders will be filled and whether the responsibility will lie with individual companies. Questions about the app sparked conflicting accounts on Tuesday.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told Sydney Radio on Tuesday morning that his officers would not be patrolling the scene to enforce vaccine status.
“The role of the police in terms of vaccine passports, we will not walk through restaurants, cafes and pubs to check if people are double vaccinated,” he said.
“[But] we will definitely help restaurateurs and store owners if they deny someone entry – we will definitely respond to help those people.
Speaking to media later Tuesday, Hazzard said police would be responsible for enforcing public health orders.
“If the law says you need to be double vaccinated then of course the police will enforce it, they have no choice but to enforce it,” he said.
Hazzard also said the sites would not be subject to fines if an unvaccinated person was allowed in. When asked why companies would bother talking to unvaccinated people if they weren’t to incur a penalty, Hazzard criticized the media for their obsession with minutiae.
The hospitality industry is waiting to see the public health orders that will be taken in the coming weeks. But it is understood that the industry believes that it will not be up to individual companies to enforce the rules.
Meanwhile, two separate challenges to vaccination warrants for particular workers are due to be urgently heard on Thursday in the NSW Supreme Court.
In one case, the judge’s office was inundated with anti-vaccination messages and calls, leading to a warning that he could risk interfering with the administration of justice.
At a hearing on the instructions Tuesday, Judge Robert Beech-Jones said that because his rooms “have been inundated with emails, the legitimate ones cannot get through.”
Dozens of calls have been posted to anti-vaccine groups to contact Beech-Jones about their views.
One was shared to an official fan group of One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts on an encrypted messaging app and viewed 40,000 times.
“If a million of us email Judge Beech-Jones, it must have an influence on his decision knowing that a million people are strongly opposed to compulsory vaccination,” he said.
A court spokesperson confirmed that more than 1,800 emails had been received by the judge’s office from people interested but not involved in the proceedings.
Addressing the authors of those emails in open court, Beech-Jones said, “Please understand that I will not read any of your emails or take any of your calls.”
“People who do so risk interfering with the administration of justice and anyone who encourages this to happen also encourages interference with the administration of justice. “
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian was criticized for warning unvaccinated residents that they would enjoy the same freedoms from December.
Berejiklian said the state actually treated unvaccinated residents more harshly than the Doherty Institute modeling recommended.
“No matter what decision I announced yesterday, I would have been criticized,” she told ABC.
“The Doherty report recommended 80% that unvaccinated people participate in society. We said no, we are going stronger and more conservative.
Hazzard said that regardless of the government’s position, individual companies will continue to ban unvaccinated residents. He pointed out Qantas, which has previously announced that no unvaccinated person will be able to board international flights.
“The bottom line is that there are a lot, a lot of companies that are actually going to make it very clear that on December 1, if you haven’t been vaccinated, you won’t be welcome. and I think the airlines have made it very clear, “he said.” There are a lot of other companies saying the same thing and I think people have to understand that we had to find a balance.”