Queensland restaurant owner calls for Covid-positive staff to be allowed to work 1

Queensland restaurant owner calls for Covid-positive staff to be allowed to work

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Aussie restaurant owner calls for Covid-positive staff to be allowed to work because the virus is now ‘everywhere’

  • Queensland restaurant owner calls for Covid-positive staff to be allowed to work


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A Queensland restaurant owner has called for Covid-positive staff to be allowed to work amid crippling staff shortages and the rampant spread of the virus. 

Iyas Shaheen, the owner of the popular Sorrento Restaurant and Bar in Airlie Beach, has urged the government to change the rules to allow people who are infected but not experiencing symptoms to come to work.   

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‘If we’re going to move on and let the virus run rampant, we should treat it like any other illness where you call in sick if you’re sick, but if you have the virus and you’re not sick you can come to work and it does not have to be dependent on a negative test,’ he told the Courier Mail.

‘It [the virus] is everywhere now – if you test positive but there’s nothing wrong with you, you should be able to go to work.’ 

The boss revealed he had lost a quarter of his workforce over the busy Christmas and New Year’s Eve period after staff were forced to isolate as close contacts.  

Iyas Shaheen, the owner of the popular Sorrento Restaurant and Bar in Airlie Beach (pictured) has urged the government to change the rules to allow people who are infected with the virus but not experiencing symptoms to come to work

Iyas Shaheen, the owner of the popular Sorrento Restaurant and Bar in Airlie Beach (pictured) has urged the government to change the rules to allow people who are infected with the virus but not experiencing symptoms to come to work

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Mr Shaheen lost a quarter of his workforce over the busy Christmas and New Year's Eve period after staff were forced to isolate as close contacts

Mr Shaheen lost a quarter of his workforce over the busy Christmas and New Year’s Eve period after staff were forced to isolate as close contacts

As a result of the shortages the venue had been forced to turn away 400 potential customers as Mr Shaheen struggled to find replacements. 

He has now called for a change to the directive following the steady rise in cases across Queensland as both the Omicron and Delta variants continue to spread.   

The restaurant owner has proposed that Covid-positive workers be allowed to work in hospitality venues if they are not experiencing symptoms like a fever or cough.

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Other venues had been forced to temporarily close before the busy end-of-year trade to ensure there was enough staff to tend to the crowds of revellers, he said. 

Mr Sheehan blamed the reopening of the border to southern states like NSW and Victoria which were previously deemed Covid hot spots by the government.  

The hospitality boss said there would infection would be less widespread across the Sunshine State if the border had reopened after the festive period.

The Queenslander border was flung open to residents from NSW, Victoria, and the ACT on December 13, reuniting families who had been separated for 141 days. 

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More to come. 

The boss revealed he had lost a quarter of his workforce (pictured) over the busy Christmas and New Year's Eve period after staff were forced to isolate as close contacts

The boss revealed he had lost a quarter of his workforce (pictured) over the busy Christmas and New Year’s Eve period after staff were forced to isolate as close contacts

As a result of the shortages the venue (pictured) had been forced to turn away 400 potential customers as Mr Shaheen struggled to find replacements

As a result of the shortages the venue (pictured) had been forced to turn away 400 potential customers as Mr Shaheen struggled to find replacements

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