Peak industry body the National Retail Association (NRA) has called for greater support for businesses that from tomorrow will only be permitted to allow vaccinated Victorians into their shops.
The State Government has announced that from 11:59pm tonight only shoppers who are fully vaccinated can enter non-essential retail businesses.
NRA CEO Dominque Lamb said support is needed for retailers who will need to both enforce this law and deal with unaccommodating customers.
“We know from experiences in other states that the government simply saying only vaccinated people can enter certain businesses does not deter the unvaccinated from trying,” Ms Lamb said.
“Victorian retailers absolutely support measures that keep the public safe and allow the economy to continue reopening. But if non-essential retailers are being asked to only allow entry to those fully vaccinated, they need the necessary support to enforce this rule.
“Customer aggression towards retail staff has gone off the charts throughout the pandemic. From tomorrow, non-essential retail workers will be the ones copping the brunt of abuse from unvaccinated Victorians attempting to gain access to that particular business.”
Ms Lamb called on the Victorian Government to ensure adequate police resources to respond to unruly customers.
“Retailers have shown throughout the pandemic that they are prepared to assist on the front line of safety, asking patrons to wear masks, check in, clean their hands and keep their distance,” she said.
“There needs to be a strong police presence in high-density shopping precincts, as well as the necessary resources made available to authorities to respond quickly to incidents in non-essential retail businesses.
“These businesses will need help managing aggressive customer situations and the NRA is ready to work with the government to come up with appropriate solutions to those issues.”