A Warrnambool resident has been banned from participating in a council sanctioned outdoor walking group after declining to reveal his COVID-19 vaccination status.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was highly embarrassed and the decision was simply wrong.
The ruling is in line with Premier Dan Andrews' hardline COVID stance that members of the community who are not vaccinated will be excluded from many public events, including Tuesday's Melbourne Cup, other sporting events such as the AFL, hospitality venues and retail outlets.
The Warrnambool man said he attended the Monday walking group session this week, which meets at the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club. The group walk along the promenade to the breakwater and back.
"I was denied walking for not stating my vaccination status," he said.
"You need to be doubled vaxxed to walk in the group, according to what I was told were Warrnambool City Council rules.
"It's an outdoor event and it's also a community event. Anything that is a community event should be inclusive for everyone in the community - this is anything but that."
It is understood the Warrnambool man has received at least one vaccination.
A Warrnambool City Council spokesman said the walking group was a council program, run through the Archie Graham Community Centre and supported by the Heart Foundation.
"It involves participants, many of whom are aged over 65 years, who are aiming to improve their fitness in a supportive, sociable environment," he said.
"In order to provide the best possible care to a potentially more vulnerable cohort, a decision was made to require participants to be fully vaccinated.
"This stance is also consistent with use of community facilities at Archie.
"Most of the walking group participants, including the fully vaccinated volunteer walk leaders, are in favour of full vaccination in order to participate.
"When one of the walkers declined to disclose their vaccination status they were offered an opportunity to participate if they wore a mask.
"That offer was not taken up."
The spokesman said the council understood the need to constantly disclose vaccination status could seem intrusive and tiresome.
"However, it is increasingly a requirement for participation or attendance at events and venues and is one way to help keep ourselves, our colleagues, families and friends, safe from COVID," he said.
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