NSW COVID-19 Freedoms: What are the vaccination rules for businesses?


The long-awaited date of 11 October 2021 has arrived, where fully vaccinated people in NSW can now access all open businesses. This article provides a summary of the vaccination rules and your obligations as a business-owner upon reopening.


Who can enter my business premises?

  • Fully vaccinated customers can enter your business premises, that is, people that have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Children under 16 years of age can also enter your premises if they are accompanied with a fully vaccinated member of their household.
  • People with a medical exemption may also enter.


What vaccination rules do I need to comply with as a business owner?

Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • Persons aged 16 or over who are not fully vaccinated are not on the premises; and
  • Persons under 16 and not fully vaccinated are not on the premises unless accompanied by a fully vaccinated member of their household.


‘Persons’ includes staff and customers on your premises.


What are reasonable steps for ensuring vaccination compliance?

Reasonable steps includes:

  • Displaying the vaccination rules from the NSW Government prominently e.g. at the entrance to your business premises’ and
  • Requesting vaccination evidence from customers.


What do I do if someone refuses to show their vaccination status?

  • You may ask a customer to leave and notify the police if someone refuses to show their vaccination evidence.
  • Legally, persons over 16 must produce their vaccination evidence to a police officer or authorised officer if requested.


What counts as vaccination evidence?

You must ensure that customers and staff show their vaccination evidence before entering the premises. Vaccination evidence is:

  • an online immunisation history statement;
  • a COVID-19 digital certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register;
  • vaccination information shown on the Service NSW app; or
  • a medical exemption, which includes a medical contraindication certificate or a medical clearance form.


Exceptions for vaccination rules for businesses

Vaccination rules do not apply to:

  • Critical retail premises such as supermarkets, groceries, petrol stations and post offices;
  • Take-away only customers; and
  • Click and collect services.


Key takeaways

  • Businesses must ensure legal compliance with vaccination rules when opening up their business premises.
  • Businesses should display vaccination rules at their store front and check vaccination evidence of customers entering their business premises.


Gladwin Legal are experts in advising businesses. If you would like more information about your legal obligations as a business owner, please contact us at or 1300 033 934.


This information is correct at the time of publishing, however it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with laws and policies which affect your business.