Those who chose to remain unvaccinated face an uncertain future with some states banning them from particular venues indefinitely.
Australians who aren’t vaccinated in certain states could be banned from restaurants and cafes indefinitely.
Many states have announced plans for opening up as more Australians get the jab and in places where there are few Covid-19 cases this could see significant changes to how unvaccinated people are treated.
Tightening rules around vaccination in many states will make it impossible for those who are unvaccinated to get into nightclubs, bars with stand-up drinking and even casinos for the foreseeable future.
For those in Queensland and Victoria, they will also be banned indefinitely from going to hospitality venues including bars and restaurants.
Those in Victoria don’t even have any idea when they will be able to get their next haircut or go to the gym.
This is because these two states have not set a date for these restrictions to end.
University of Sydney vaccination policy expert Professor Julie Leask said the indefinite nature of the restrictions on unvaccinated people could be imposing unnecessary hardship on people.
“Once you reach around 92 per cent vaccination coverage, you substantially reduce the chance of an outbreak,” she said.
“At an individual level, someone who is not vaccinated, is more a risk to themselves and other unvaccinated people than to those who are vaccinated.”
While Prof Leask supports vaccination requirements in certain sectors such as health, aged care and possibly those working with the Indigenous community, she said beyond this, any other mandates should be as “temporary as possible”.
“The gain is not worth the hardship it brings,” she said.
“It can cause hardship for individuals and family conflict, where one person who doesn’t want to get vaccinated can restrict the family from certain activities indefinitely.”
Particularly in Queensland, where people have lived relatively normal lives, the changes being brought in on December 17 banning unvaccinated people from going to shops and restaurants, will actually reduce freedoms for some.
This is seen as necessary because once Queensland re-opens its borders to other states, Covid-19 cases will likely rise.
But Prof Leask believes that once high vaccination rates are achieved, unvaccinated Australians should be allowed to rejoin society.
“Once the mandate has got most people vaccinated, what do you do about the rest? At what point do you let go of restricting them and locking them out, and let them back in to social and cultural life? There has to be a balance there.”
Here are the restrictions on unvaccinated people in each state and territory.
From December 17, many hospitality businesses and venues won’t be able to hire unvaccinated employees or accept them as customers.
Unvaccinated people won’t be able to go to hotels, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, live music venues, karaoke bars, concerts, theatres or cinemas.
They also won’t be able to visit galleries, museums libraries, sporting stadiums or theme parks. Hospitals, aged care, disability care and other vulnerable settings will be out of bounds, with some exemptions.
However, the unvaxxed can still go to grocery stores, pharmacies, post offices, newsagents, clothing stores and the gym.
Weddings with unvaccinated guests will be restricted to a maximum of 20 people, although there is no limit on funerals.
Queensland will review its restrictions at the 90 per cent double dose vaccination milestone.
“These measures are about keeping Queenslanders safe by taking a cautious and measured approach. When Queensland’s borders open, we know we will see Covid cases throughout the state,” a Queensland Health spokesperson said.
“We are focused on getting as many people as vaccinated as possible, and reaching the 80 per cent and 90 per cent fully vaccinated targets.”
The state is making it mandatory for health, aged and disability care staff, as well as police, hospitality workers and truck drivers to get vaccinated. But it is one of only two states not to have a mandate for teachers and childcare workers.
So far 74.51 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 have been fully vaccinated.
There have been no announcements about when restrictions on unvaccinated people will lift.
Unvaccinated Victorians are even more restricted compared to those in Queensland because they currently can’t use gyms or swimming pools, go to a hairdresser or visit non-essential retail shops.
They are also not able to enter hotels, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, live music venues, karaoke bars, concerts, theatres, cinemas or the casino.
Weddings and funerals that want to include unvaccinated guests are restricted to one person per 4 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 people per facility.
Almost 90 per cent of the state’s population over 16 is vaccinated but the Victorian Government has not announced a date for when restrictions on unvaccinated people will ease.
These restrictions also apply to anyone over the age of 12 years and two months.
The Andrews government has copped criticism after announcing unvaccinated children aged between 12 and 15 would be banned from entering most public venues, including the state’s hospitality venues and major events
New South Wales
Unvaccinated residents will once again be allowed to enter non-essential shops, gyms and restaurants on December 15 or once the state hits the target of 95 per cent double dosed, whichever one happens first.
All residents regardless of vaccination status will be allowed to drink standing up and go to nightclubs, however density limits will still apply.
More than 92 per cent of residents over 16 years old are fully vaccinated.
Once 90 per cent of those 12 years old and over are fully vaccinated, those who haven’t been jabbed will not be able to visit high-risk venues such as nightclubs and those offering standing alcohol consumption.
The state is just shy of achieving 80 per cent fully vaccinated for those aged over 16.
Restrictions will be placed on those who are unvaccinated once the state hits a vaccination rate of 90 per cent of the population aged 12 years and over, after which the state will re-open its borders to the rest of Australia. This is expected to happen in late January or early February.
Those who aren’t vaccinated won’t be able to go to nightclubs and the casino or to attend large events of more than 1000 people.
WA is also requiring many workers to get vaccinated including those employed in restaurants, supermarkets and hardware shops.
From December 6 unvaccinated people won’t be able to go to venues that allow people to dance and drink standing up, with all staff at these venues also required to be fully vaccinated by December 15.
More than 85 per cent of those aged 16 and over have already been fully vaccinated.
A new system of “lock-outs” will be brought in once the territory reaches at least 80 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.
If a lock-out is declared, unvaccinated people will only permitted to leave their home for five reasons.
Those who are vaccinated will be allowed to continue their lives as normal but must wear a mask.
Some exceptions will be made for those who can’t get vaccinated, such as children under 12, and some people who have medical reasons.
At the moment 74 per cent of those aged over 16 have been fully vaccinated.
Australian Capital Territory
More than 95 per cent of people are already vaccinated in ACT and as you would expect there are few restrictions in place.
Vaccination certificates are not required to be shown when entering businesses but some density limits apply and masks must be worn in some indoor setting such as on public transport.