Patrons asked to not take out mask frustration on hospitality workers

People are being asked to not take out their frustrations about Covid-19 mask rules on hospitality workers. The call follows reports of several incidents where bar and restaurant workers have been threatened and intimidated by patrons.

The Australian Hotels Association (WA) is urging disruptive and argumentative patrons to respect WA’s hospitality staff and remember that hospitality venues are places to relax and socialise, not sermonise.

Bradley Woods, CEO of the organisation said the COVID-19 restrictions in place in Perth and Peel are measures mandated by government and staff working in hospitality venues should not be abused or preached at by a small minority who oppose the current requirements.

“Sadly, hospitality venues are reporting an increased number of patrons being argumentative and abusive with hospitality staff who are simply doing their jobs and it is completely unacceptable,” Woods said.

“We have received reports of confrontations at venue entrances from those who refuse to wear a mask or provide proof of vaccination.”

“Under the State of Emergency Directions, patrons who have a legitimate exemption are legally required to produce it to enter the venue.”

“Venue owners, operators and managers have a legal obligation to comply with health directions, whether it be mask mandates or proof of vaccination requirements – they do not pick and choose which rules they want to abide by.” Woods said.

“WA’s hospitality staff go to work to provide hospitality and shouldn’t be subjected to abuse from people who have an axe to grind with the Government over COVID-19 restrictions.”

“The vast majority of Western Australians value hospitality staff and have provided much-needed support to WA’s bars, pubs, taverns and restaurants over the past two years.”

“If anyone has strong feelings about measures put in place by Government, write to your local member of parliament, rather than ranting to the person serving you a beer.” Woods suggested.

Premier Mark McGowan also had a succinct message for people opposed to the mark and vaccination rules.

“There’s no excuse to be rude to hospitality staff when asked to show proof of vaccination, It’s simple, don’t be a dropkick.” the Premier posted to his Facebook page.

Graeme Watson

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