Illawarra residents eager to sit down and enjoy an amber ale at their local or go shopping for some retail therapy next week are being asked to be respectful to staff.
From October 11, it will be up to employees of hospitality and retail stores to enforce the rules set by the NSW Government such as not allowing unvaccinated people to enter (until December 1), ensuring masks are worn and patrons scan in with a QR code, among other things.
The Heritage Hotel Bulli's general manager Andy Bell expects some patrons may get heated and take it out on staff, but he will be "ruling with an iron fist" if he has to.
"If there needs to be any disciplinary action that we have to take against people who are a nuisance and not complying then I'll be the one to swing the hammer," he said.
The tough stance is not only for the safety of his staff and complying to the Public Health Order, but Mr Bell gravely fears for the health of his three-week-old baby and two-year-old living upstairs.
"It's impossible to eliminate [COVID-19] from ever coming into the building, but just to minimise the risk of transmission once inside," he said.
"It's like fighting a war with your arms tied behind your back, you've just got to do what you can."
Mr Bell foresees patrons getting most frustrated with trying to find their immunisation records before scanning in with the Service NSW app, anticipating some people could be standing at the door for 10 minutes trying to sort it out.
They're paid to do their job, they're not paid to cop abuse and they're not paid to be a punching bag for disgruntled customers.Arthur Rorris, South Coast Labour Council
South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said many employees working in retail and hospitality are young workers and the public should remember they aren't the ones making the rules.
"They're not paid to handle the frustration of customers, they're paid to do their job, they're not paid to cop abuse and they're not paid to be a punching bag for disgruntled customers," Mr Rorris said.
"Whilst there have been some examples of workers who have not been treated well, I am hopeful as we open up people start to realise there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with staff.
"If they don't behave reasonably and don't want to behave courteously ... then they should expect they will not just be dealing with staff, they will be dealing with the police."
Authorised officers will monitor businesses re-opening while penalties may apply for individuals and businesses who don't comply.
On the spot fines may apply to individuals for not complying, or for using fraudulent evidence of vaccination or check-in; as well as for businesses for not complying.
Visit nsw.gov.au for the latest information.
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