New freedoms for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, paired with tougher restrictions for those who are not, has put local businesses in a difficult spot.
October 11 marks the first of a three stage reopening for NSW, with only those who have been double-dosed vaccinated able to visit certain businesses including cafes and restaurants.
Residents who have made the decision to not receive a COVID-19 vaccination will be able to participate in the same freedoms on December 1 when the state is predicted to reach 90 per cent double-dose vaccination.
Due to this Public Health Order, some businesses have made the decision to alter the way they operate until December 1 to be more inclusive.
Taranar Sloan-Harris and Cody Rogers operate The Organic Factory at Telegraph Point and said they made the decision to not reopen the cafe until everyone is able to visit, regardless of their vaccination status.
"The government is calling it the path back to freedom, but it's only freedom for some," Mr Sloan-Harris said.
"A person's medical choice shouldn't impact the things that you can do. We wanted to wait until everyone can come together as one. We are all people and we didn't want to stand for discrimination against someone's choice."
Mr Sloan-Harris said the business is looking at starting meal deliveries in the coming weeks and also attending local markets until they fully reopen the business when the government mandate is lifted.
"We will think about it when it gets closer and when we will reopen, but for now we just didn't want to discriminate against anyone," he said.
"It's more important now, more than ever, to listen to each other and be there for people."
Middle Rock Pizza and Eatery has also altered the way they operate until December 1, by only offering takeaway to customers and closing their dine in section.
"We don't feel comfortable asking our staff to check vaccination status, it's not in their job description, and we would hate it if they were to face abuse or hostility as a result of doing so," a post to the cafe's Facebook page read.
"We also don't feel comfortable turning anyone away based on their beliefs or vaccination status.
"Everyone is welcome for takeaway regardless of vaccination status, and as long as everyone follows the rules in regards to masks, social distancing and the use of hand sanitiser, it can remain that way."
Salty Crew Kiosk is another local business that will only be offering takeaway until December 1.
"We will be offering our full delicious menu and coffee takeaway only so everyone can enjoy," a post to their Facebook page read.
"We wish for our community to be happy, healthy and kind during this time."
Some businesses have made the decision to fully reopen, with staff now responsible to check the vaccination status of individuals before they enter the premises.
There needs to be an element of respect and empathy in the coming weeks. We don't want to see staff members at the front door having to deal with irate customers, that is unfair on the staff who are doing their job.Alistair Flower
Licensee of the Flower Hotel Group Alistair Flower spoke to the Port News and said this will make it challenging for staff.
"Staff will now have to police patrons' vaccination status which will create challenges and some anxiety for them," he said.
"It's been hard enough for them with policing check-ins, mask wearing and standing in licensed venues, but now they also have to check vaccinations statuses."
Mr Flower is reminding the public that if a person is denied entry into a business because of their vaccination status, it is only because the establishment is following the government mandate imposed on them.
"It's important to say that this Public Health Order is enforced by the government and we are just following the rules. It might not be our view to deny entry to someone, but we do have to abide by the rules to keep running our businesses," he said.
"There needs to be an element of respect and empathy in the coming weeks. We don't want to see staff members at the front door having to deal with irate customers, that is unfair on the staff who are doing their job.
"If it was up to us it would be different. We're just asking people to be mindful and if you have an issue, go to the government - don't take it out on the 22-year-old staff member at the door.
"We will get through this with some respect in our community."
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