Supermarket Bans All Unvaxxinated Aussies From Shopping for Groceries – Despite It Counting as an Essential Service
By Olivia Day
– Northern Territory supermarket has banned unvaccinated patrons from entering
– IGA store in Yulara said the ban would protect staff, guests and local community
– NT recorded 625 new local Covid cases on Tuesday with 43 people in hospitals
– Since January 10, the unvaccinated have been banned from pubs and cafes
– Vaccine pass is used for entry into cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants
A supermarket has banned unvaccinated shoppers from entering its Northern Territory store, despite grocery shops counting as an essential service and therefore exempt from NT’s Covid passport rules.
Popular supermarket chain IGA has announced only the vaccinated will be allowed to buy groceries from Yulara store, located inside the Ayers Rock resort.
The decision to refuse un-jabbed customers was backed by tourism operator Voyages, the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC), Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and the Northern Territory government.
The NT on January 10 introduced a new vaccine pass system that now requires residents over the age of 16 to prove their vaccination status
A Voyages company spokesperson said the ban had been introduced to protect the safety and wellbeing of their guests, staff and the local community.
MCAC chief executive Thalia Bohl-van den Boogaard has also defended the decision and said everyone in the Mutitjulu community had access to a community store or fuel station to buy essential groceries.
The NT on January 10 introduced a new vaccine pass system that now requires residents over the age of 16 to prove their vaccination status to enter recreation venues.
Those who remain unvaccinated are banned from entering a suite of businesses including cinemas, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
The Omicron variant officially reached Central Australia in early December, after NT relaxed its Covid-19 border controls and allowed all vaccinated travellers in.
A Voyages company spokesperson said the ban had been introduced to protect the safety and wellbeing of their guests, staff and the local community
The highly-contagious strain has seen an unprecedented surge in local cases with lock-outs currently in place in Alice Springs, Yuendumu, Yuelamu and Amoonguna.
People in Galiwin’ku and Yirrkala in the East Arnhem region also entered a lockdown on Monday, as the government looks to ease pressure on the health system.
Covid cases across the NT climbed to a record 625 infections on Tuesday, after the territory reported 284 new infections on Monday.
Hospitalisations climbed to 43 on Tuesday with 27 patients classified as ‘acute admissions’ with one person currently in ICU.
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles described the tally as a ‘large jump’ but said it had been predicted with less people getting tested on the weekend.
‘When you put it with the numbers we saw yesterday, it’s not greatly concerning to us,’ Ms Fyles said.
‘If you put yesterday and today’s figures together you’re still seeing around 450 cases today and that’s been about around our 14-day average.’
Of the 4,142 active cases across the territory, 2,114 of the cases were in the Greater Darwin area, 543 were in Alice Springs, 70 were in East Arnhem, 211 were in Katherine and 33 were in the Barkly region.
Ms Fyles revealed 13 of the Tuesday’s cases were recorded at an Alice Springs hospital which would remain a ‘significant focus’ for health teams.