West Australia threatens $50,000 fine and jail for people who are ‘offensive’ to workers checking vax cards

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

Western Australia is threatening jail time and massive fines for those who argue with workers checking vaccination cards at restaurants and other public spaces, according to The West Australian.

Any person who “threatens,” “intimidates,” or is “offensive” to businesses or workers who ask for proof of vaccination face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $50,000, WA reported.

The new penalties come amid a wave of new rules in other areas of the country blocking unvaccinated people over the age of 16 from entering public spaces, including hospitals, according to WA. Businesses that do not comply with the state’s vaccine passport system will be fined up to $250,000. 

“It’s a significant deterrent for anyone likely to go after a shop assistant for simply doing their job,” Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association State Secretary Peter O’Keefe said, according to WA. “If people break these rules and a couple of them are prosecuted, that would send a message far and wide.”

West Australia has recorded 1527 COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic and 1357 recoveries, according to its Department of Health. The state reported zero current COVID-19 hospitalizations on Jan. 31 and added that one person who had been in the ICU Jan. 30 was released.

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