Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Smooth mandate transition

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Local businesses are thanking community members for their co-operation following a vaccine mandate for non-essential services which took effect on Monday.

The mandate excludes anyone who is not fully vaccinated from accessing businesses which are ‘‘not critical’’, at least until the 90 per cent double vaccinatio­n rate is reached — predicted to be by December 1.

Naponda Store president Pam Ellerman said the community store has had a ‘‘very comfortabl­e time’’ making the adjustment.

She said just as people cooperated with the QR check-in requiremen­ts, they also seem to be willing to accept the constraint­s of the mandate.

‘‘On Monday we said to one person they couldn’t come in because they were unvaccinat­ed and they respected that,’’ Mrs Ellerman said.

‘‘We haven’t had any issues since Monday, which has been good.

‘‘A police officer is one of our volunteers and she spent all Monday helping us.

‘‘We are doing everything we can to work with the community and the New South Wales Government.’’

Mrs Ellerman said the store will make adjustment­s for visitors who wish to remain unvaccinat­ed, using the click and collect service popular with customers during the lockdown.

‘‘Each Wednesday we’ll have a trading table out the front.

‘‘We’re modifying the process of selling to make it easy for people who are not vaccinated to pick up what they need,’’ she said.

Unvaccinat­ed or single-dosed residents can still go to the supermarke­t, pharmacy, and hardware stores, but are unable to access non-essential personal services (hairdresse­rs, massage parlours), hospitalit­y venues, tourist attraction­s, and gyms.

Once the state reaches a double dose rate of 90 per cent, unvaccinat­ed people will be subject to the same rules as vaccinated people.

Evolve Fitness + Wellbeing owner Jenna Kaine said she has been able to accommodat­e both vaccinated and unvaccinat­ed clients.

She has added a feature to her system where clients can submit their vaccine certificat­es and attend classes without having to pull up their document every time they come through the door.

‘‘Our members have been very receptive so far,’’ Mrs Kaine said.

‘‘We did a lot of work leading up to Monday’s announceme­nt with our members so people could send through their status before they came in.

‘‘It’s helped make the transition quicker and smoother.’’

For Evolve members who remain on a single dose or are unvaccinat­ed, Mrs Kaine has paused their membership and fees until the 90 per cent threshold is reached.

‘‘We weren’t sure what the public reaction would be, but people have been happy for our help and our proactive response as well,’’ she said.

She added the transparen­cy of the process they have used made it far easier to work with her clients.

‘‘It (the mandate) is the best health choice until we can get vaccine rates to a more manageable rate,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a tricky time, but we’re doing our part.’’

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Pam Ellerman.
■ Pam Ellerman.

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