Warrnambool business owners have expressed concern about vaccinations becoming effectively mandatory for both patrons and employees by late October.
Under Phase B of the Victorian government roadmap released on Sunday, any person wanting to access services such as hospitality, beauty and personal care, organised physical recreation, or entertainment and leisure, would have to be fully vaccinated.
Phase B of the plan is scheduled to kick in when 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over have had their second dose. The milestone is expected around October 26.
Daniel Andrews said that by that point anyone who wanted to get vaccinated would have had the opportunity to do so.
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"We're not insisting on people being vaccinated yet. We need that extra time to get the numbers up. Otherwise you're really asking people to do something they physically can't, because they haven't had a chance to be vaccinated yet," he said on Sunday.
Bohemia Cafe owner Steve Hickman said he foresaw problems when the new rules kicked in.
"I've just been having conversations with staff about it. It is going to create all sorts of angst," he said.
Mr Hickman's main concern was the burden of enforcement falling on business owners and staff.
"It's ridiculous, the amount of pressure this creates for us to police it. And because many of our service staff are young it is going to be young people having to enforce this and have potential confrontations that they're not trained or prepared to handle."
In outlining the new rules on Sunday, Mr Andrews said a person wishing to visit a business would be able to prove their vaccination status using their phone using a similar process to the QR code check-in system. He said it would effectively be a vaccine passport system.
"There are trials to test... the Australian immunisation register, with our (check in) app, so they can talk to each other. The two things will be aligned, the QR code, and the person being vaccinated, so you get a green tick and the venue operator can know you're one of the 150 vaccinated people that he or she is allowed to have inside," Mr Andrews said.
Warrnambool 24/7 Gym owner Stuart Roe said he was worried he would lose clients when the new rules come in.
"I'm thinking that I might have to tell as much as 20 per cent of my customers that they can't come into my business," he said.
Mr Roe said the effective mandate would be another blow after getting through long periods of lockdown when he couldn't open his gym.
"It doesn't matter whether I agree with the vaccine rules or not, I will have to follow them and there is going to be a backlash from customers.
"I can't even begin to tell you how it's going to affect me," he said.
Mr Andrews said the vaccine passport wouldn't last forever, but it was necessary while vaccine coverage continued to consolidate. He said it was necessary to exclude unvaccinated people from high risk settings, because of their additional risk of transmission, but also because they were much more vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.
The roadmap didn't include detail on whether staff at the businesses would also have to be vaccinated, but Mr Andrews said this was probably implied if patrons had to be vaccinated. He said the roadmap would be constantly updated and further detail would emerge.
Mr Hickman said a staff vaccination mandate would pose problems for him.
"We have staff, some of my most important staff, who are of the opinion that they should be able to choose whether to get the jab. So if they enforce that it will be a problem," he said.
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