The brid and hand winery has annouced on instagram that it has mandated full vacination from its staff and guests to be able to enter the winery, the announcement has drawn a mixed reaction bringing support from the community and premier and calls of discrimination from others.
The decision has been described by the Australian Hotels Association chief executive officer Ian Horne described as “bold” and a sense of inevitability for businesses.
from adelaide now 03.09.2021
Popular Hills winery Bird in Hand has become one of the first major businesses in the state to mandate full vaccination from its staff and guests.
Bird in Hand Winery owner Andrew Nugent made the announcement via Instagram on Thursday with the post receiving a mixed reaction from the business’s followers.
“To protect the health and wellbeing of our family, staff, guests, and the wonderful Bird in Hand community, we intend to be a completely vaccinated winery by November 15, 2021,” the post said.
“A double dose of the vaccine will be required for entry.
“Let’s help ourselves, our friends in lockdown in the eastern states, our wine, food, hospitality, and tourism partners by getting this done.”
The post has received a mixed reaction from customers with some labelling the move a “disgrace” and a “division of the people”.
One follower also questioned whether Bird in Hand, which recently announced a $30 million upgrade, was in breach of Australian discrimination laws, while others said they would be boycotting the winery from here on in.
Responding to critics and supporters in a follow-up post on Friday morning, Mr Nugent said individuals had the right and responsibility to act in their own interest.
“The decision has been made to help this community reduce death, pressure on our hospital system, loved ones dying alone, mental health issues, suicide, depression, domestic violence and the socio economic shock of longer, more frequent lockdowns,” he said.
Adelaide Hills Wine Region president Jared Stringer said the writing was on the wall for other wineries to follow suit in the months ahead.
While Bird in Hand is the first winery in the Adelaide Hills to mandate full vaccination from its guests, Mr Stringer said more wineries were taking steps to ensure all staff received the jab.
“I think it’s a possibility that other wineries and small businesses will follow,” he said.
“I think the more companies that announce this sort of thing, the easier it’s going to be for smaller wineries to jump on and get behind that movement.
“I’m actively encouraging my staff (at The Lane) to get vaccinated…so I think that’s where it starts and from there I see the writing on the wall that customers will need to be vaccinated before they can enjoy some of the freedoms they enjoyed previously.”
Premier Steven Marshall said it was up to individual businesses to determine what best worked for them, but he stressed vaccination was the pathway out of the pandemic.
“While there is still more work to be carried out by National Cabinet regarding vaccination passports, businesses will and should make their own decisions about what is best for them and their customers,” he said.
“Since day one, the National Cabinet has not endorsed mandating this vaccine for every Australian, instead only mandating vaccination for those who are working with our most vulnerable in aged-care settings, and those who are most likely to come in contact with the virus through our medi-hotel red zones.”
Australian Hotels Association chief executive officer Ian Horne described Bird in Hand winery’s stance as “bold”.
“I suspect as more and more people get their double vaccination there will be more and more people who find that a very appealing proposition, but at the end of the day, every business will have to make its own decisions,” he said.
Mr Horne said there was a “sense of inevitability” about such moves by businesses.
“But we’re still a long way from 80 per cent vaccinations and clearly the message from every business is if you can get vaccinated, get vaccinated as quick as possible because it takes the pressure off our businesses and it takes the pressure off you as a customer,” he said.
Business SA chief executive officer Martin Haese agreed.
“At this point in time, Business SA respects the individual views of individual business owners so we’re not advocating that be mandated at this point in time,” he said.
“However we are encouraging for all South Australians to be vaccinated because what we do know is if we ever want to see our state borders reopened, and ultimately our national borders, vaccination is the only way to achieve that.”