Grab yourself a frothy at the Cally in case they have to close for a few days due to last minute vaccination rule changes.


CONFUSION (and anger) reigns supreme in Victoria’s hammered hotel and hospitality sector.

As an example of that, Wonthaggi’s Caledonian Hotel posted on its Facebook page on Thursday this week (today), that it was regrettably going to have to close at 11.59pm when the new COVID easing/restrictions came in.

“Unfortunately, due to the sudden change of vaccination rules we will be closing at 11:59pm tonight until further notice. But we’ll be back stronger than ever! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for re-opening and event details,” Dave, Kirsten and the Cally crew

Licensee David Peters was under the impression that he couldn’t open at all unless all staff, including bar staff, meals preparation staff and management, were fully vaccinated.

But, according to President of the Australian Hotels Association (Vic) David Canning, hotels still operating on the vaccination rules, before the snap announcement by the Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday, October 19, could still continue to operate on the “10 inside, 30 outside” rules until all staff on shifts and on the premises got fully vaccinated.

The arrangements came as a complete surprise to Mr Peters.

“Neither the State Government (on the website) nor the AHA has put that information out yet,” Mr Peter said today.

“We were working on the rules that staff had to have at least one jab by October 21 and as long as they were booked for their second jab, to get it by November 26, they could work.

“I’ve got some staff that were booked in to get vaccinated early next week and it would have been no problem but then, boom, the Premier moves the goalposts again.”

Mr Peters said he wasn’t sure what he would do now, having advised staff of the temporary shutdown.

He intended to open early next week anyway, but watch this space for an early reprieve.

But with regional hotels able to move to settings of 30 fully vaccinated people inside and 100 fully vaccinated people outside, the Victorian government issued a last-minute clarification last Tuesday that all hospitality staff must be fully vaccinated before venues, looking to take up the greater capacity rules, can reopen from Friday.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed on Tuesday that cooks, waiters and all other staff in places where you site down for a meal would need to have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine under the road map announced on Sunday, after contradictory information was provided by the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Industry bodies said they had been advised, incorrectly, earlier in the day that staff would only need to have one dose by Friday and their second shot booked in before November 26, in line with the government’s vaccine mandate for authorised workers.

“Staff need to be double vaccinated,” Mr Andrews confirmed on Tuesday.

“I don’t think that anyone would find fault with the logic that says if I must be double-dosed to sit down and order a beer or a glass of wine, then the person who’s serving me needs to be double-dosed also,” he said.

He said people in the industry he had spoken to were aware and supportive of this, but he apologised “if there has been any confusion”.

The mix-up stems from the vaccine mandate announced on October 1, which required more than 1 million ‘authorised workers’ to have had their first dose booked in this month and their second by November 26.

But the road map announced on Sunday stipulated dine-in venues, moving to the new 30/100 fully vaccinated settings, could only be staffed by fully vaccinated workers.

David Canning AHA Victoria President said he had “never seen AHA members so irate.

“It’s complete madness but that’s the way this government operates,” Mr Canning said.

“I’ve never seen them so irate.

“You can work in a hospital with a single dose and a booking for your second dose, you can be face-to-face with kids in a classroom but you can’t serve a pot and parma to patrons in a hotel.

“It’s not the fact that staff have to be fully vaccinated, it’s the ridiculously short notice, Tuesday to Thursday to get everyone vaccinated. It’s just ludicrous.”

Mr Canning reiterated that hotels could continue on the previous patron limits of 10 inside and 30 outside until all rostered staff were vaccinated, at which time they could move to the new 30/100 rules coming in from 11.59pm on Thursday, October 21.

Manager of the Wonthaggi Club, Steve Curtis, had adopted the new settings and would be able to have 30 seated for service at both venues, the Club in McBride Avenue and the Wonthaggi Golf Club, where up to 100 would be able to be seated outside.

But he acknowledged the very short notice had been yet another difficulty served up by the pandemic.

“It’s not so much confusing as difficult, changing at such short notice.”

Back at the Caledonian, David Peters isn’t sure what to do now.

“I’ve been delayed in getting my jab by a health issue, but I got the AZ last Friday, October 15 and will have to wait now until November 15,” Mr Peters said.

“I was on target to get fully vaccinated in time, and then this.

“We want to be able to fully open and 30 inside and 100 outside was at least a better arrangement, but we can’t even do that.

“It’s not as if I can be in the office doing some paperwork, I can’t even be on the premises.”

Hair salons can continue as well

There has been some confusion at hair and beauty salons as well where the Department of Health has confirmed that they can continue trading at the existing density levels of 10, if any staff are not fully vaccinated but can move to the higher density settings, with a cap of 30, all vaccinated, staff and customers.

Local hair and beauty businesses appear to be up-to-speed with the requirements.

Check out the regional Road Map, click this link