CLUBS and social or sporting groups on the Mornington Peninsula are heading into unknown territory as they prepare to welcome back members emerging from lockdown.
But will those who are vaccinated and those who are not be treated differently? Will entry depend on being able to prove a double jab?
Similarly, how will Mornington Peninsula Shire deal with the vaccinated and the unvaccinated? Will those who have declined be banned from entering shire halls, libraries, or offices? Who will police entry?
State government rulings are often hard to follow. Last week, many tennis clubs delayed opening while they sorted through stringent COVID-safe requirements. Toilets remained locked on golf courses.
Mornington Peninsula Shire does not require its staff to be vaccinated but encourages them to do so and offers paid time from work to get the vaccination.
In August, six of the 11 councillors were reported to have been vaccinated and the shire’s website was urging residents to “help stop the pandemic by getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you” (“Councillors follow shire’s advice to ‘get the jab’” The News 9/8/21).
“Like all organisations we are currently working on a plan for how to safely reopen our shire offices and facilities once Victoria achieves its vaccination milestones,” speechwriter Tina McGuffie said last week.
“As always, we will follow the directions of the Chief Health Officer in determining our approach and will work closely with the state government to ensure a COVIDSafe summer on the peninsula.”
Mornington Yacht Club Commodore Greg Martin speaking in the newsletter said while the club used an App to feature news and events – it was “not the forum for members to deride or ridicule other members” in the great jab debate.
“The issue of COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice; please don’t use the app as a forum for your personal biases,” he warned.
“I have made the choice to get vaccinated [but] the choice each member makes is up to them … Access to our club – and most likely all clubs – will most likely be dependent on being able to prove double-dose vaccination.
“This will not be a decision made solely by clubs and other hospitality venues. It will be a government decision and enshrined in law, like having to wear seatbelts, wearing a helmet on your bike or even stopping at a red light.
“Two years ago I had the privilege of travelling to Africa. To get the yellow fever vaccine was not a choice. There was no choice: get it or don’t come here.
“This pandemic, and particularly the Delta variant, doesn’t discriminate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, young or old, and the best advice from all governments and medicos in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the community, is to get vaccinated.
“Almost exclusively the patients in ICU beds are unvaccinated. We have a number of medicos in our club [who] are happy to discuss the issue.
“The future is in our hands.”