Residents on the Gold Coast are being urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help small business, following the release of Queensland’s COVID Vaccine Plan to unite families and protect Queenslanders.
Visiting a pharmacy in Surfer’s Paradise that received a COVID-19 Business Support Grant, Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said there was no time to waste.
“The message is simple: the more of us who are vaccinated, the sooner we can be safely reunited with friends and family interstate and overseas, and the more patrons our small businesses can welcome,” Minister Farmer said.
“This call is especially important now that we know of a case that’s potentially been infectious in the Gold Coast community for up to 10 days.
“Parts of the Gold Coast are doing really well, but there are still 156,000 people who aren’t vaccinated.
“Nowhere has reached 80% double vaccinated which is when we will see significant changes, allowing fully vaccinated people to come to Queensland without quarantining.
“I know this will make a huge difference to the Gold Coast tourism industry and other small businesses that have been hard hit by the border closures we’ve needed to keep Queenslanders safe.
“But to do this, we need everyone to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.
“Our measured and cautious plan also shows that greater restrictions may apply to the unvaccinated.
“For example, venues and restaurants may be able to operate at greater densities if all patrons are fully vaccinated.
“Currently in the Gold Coast LGA 71.4% of residents have received a first dose, and 54.9% are fully vaccinated.
“We have been supporting small businesses throughout the pandemic, with a $14.5 billion Economic Recovery Plan and more than $265 million paid out to small businesses through our COVID-19 Business Support Grants.
“This includes over $55.5 million to more than 6,000 businesses across the Gold Coast.
“However, one of the most important things Gold Coast residents can do now to support local small businesses is to get vaccinated.”
Priceline pharmacist Naleen Narayan said the COVID-19 Business Support Grant had made a huge difference but is now urging people to make getting their vaccination a priority.
“The grant was really important because even though we remained open during lockdown we missed out on so much trade,” Naleen said.
“It was a really big help to us, to keep the business going and keep our casual employees on for their normal hours. It was an easy process, and I’d encourage other businesses to apply.
“Pharmacies are all about keeping our community safe and well and they’ve never been more critical that now, as we offer potentially life-saving vaccinations in an easy and accessible location with familiar and caring staff.
“There is more than enough evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The only way out for our communities to minimise significant illness is to vaccinate to get our livelihoods back and reunite with our loved ones.”