SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

THE operators of the community vaccination centre in Wonthaggi asked the Sentinel-Times last Friday to issue a warning to visitors not to try to get their vaccinations locally.

It seemed a fair request, responding to a situation at the facility during the week.

As you do, we published an article about it on our website, and pointed to it with a Facebook post, headed: “Melbourne people have been accused of swamping Wonthaggi’s vaccination centre.”

The feedback urged moderation, not vilification.

There have also been stories in the local media about Melbourne people “flouting the rules and travelling to Bass Coast”, needing to be turned away by business operators under the new ID checking rules.

Bearing in mind there are fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for corporate bodies who don’t “use all reasonable endeavours to determine” a customer’s identity, including asking for photo ID, it’s a serious matter.

But it hasn’t stopped some business operators and locals feeling conflicted about turning visitors away when, under normal circumstances, they would be warmly welcoming them as the lifeblood of the local economy.

A notice on the Fish Creek Hotel appeared to throw the net widely: “we’ve missed you Victoria”.

And no more so than this coming weekend, the last long weekend for some time, will that loss be felt most.

Some people may be intent on rorting the system, we know that, and to some extent, who could blame them for wanting to escape yet another Melbourne winter lockdown, but the law is the law.

The vast majority though, are just trying to get by, and continue to deserve our respect, if not our hospitality right at the moment.