Businesses in Launceston are preparing for the reality of COVID entering the community, with some implementing no jab, no entry policies.
With borders to the mainland opening tomorrow, some business owners have taken steps to protect their staff and customers, and limit the potential spread of the virus, requiring those entering their premises to be vaccinated.
An email sent on December 10, by JMC Automotive Group managing director Errol Stewart advised customers and business partners that from December 15, they would not be allowed on the premises unless vaccinated against COVID-19.
The email confirmed the mandate would apply to customers, contractors, suppliers and staff, with exemptions only granted to those with a medical exemption.
Mr Stewart said the decision to implement the mandate followed public health advice and an independent risk assessment carried out by the company.
"The assessment that we've considered says you've really got a responsibility, not just to your staff and other customers to ensure that you provide a safe working environment, but a safe environment for visiting customers to your business," he said.
"You know in each site we have hundreds of people visit us each day and we don't think there's any other option."
Rebecca Schiller was one of the customers who received the email and said she was surprised when she received the mandate.
"I was really surprised, I couldn't believe it and I think it's unfair, I just think this whole discrimination between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated is unfair," she said.
Despite being vaccinated herself, the 68-year-old from Riverside said it was the prospect of people losing their jobs that concerned her.
Mr Stewart said 96 per cent of his staff had been vaccinated and confirmed the business was working with all unvaccinated staff to reach an agreement, but confirmed if no resolution could be found staff would be terminated.
"We've consulted with every single person that's got an issue with vaccination and some will probably still not get vaccinated," he said.
"We'll hold their employment open to the end of the year, we'll consult with them again in the new year, but eventually, if they say they're not going to get vaccinated, they don't have a job."
In an email sent on December 13, Launceston property management firm @home was another business to announce unvaccinated people would not be allowed to enter their office.
Managing director Michelle Williams said the decision was intended to protect staff and mitigate the spread of the virus, and applied only to people entering the business premises.
"For us, having people come and go from the office, we're trying to prevent the spread and we are doing our best to try and protect our employees as well," she said.
Ms Williams said with previous COVID protocols in place the impact to customers would be minimal, confirming unvaccinated customers would still be able to interact with the business.
"There are other measures that we can take to provide the same service to people that are unvaccinated, and we have measures in place previously from our COVID arrangements when we were forced to have contactless transactions, so it really shouldn't make any difference to the way we do business," she said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Follow us on Google News: The Examiner
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.