Business is pushing governments, both federal and state, to loosen the Covid restriction so the economy can open up. In return, businesses would commit to obliging staff and customers to be vaccinated.
If the governments accept the argument, gyms, for example, would tell clients that they weren't allowed in without proof of vaccination. Staff would be told the same.
The implication is that unvaccinated staff would be out of a job unless they could show very strong medical or religious reasons for not being vaccinated.
Stephen Byron, managing director of Capital Group, which owns Canberra Airport, the Majura Park shopping centre and other properties, doesn't use the word "compulsion" or "mandatory". He prefers to say there should be "favouritism" towards the vaccinated.
Initially, business should "talk to staff" and suggest that workers see a pharmacist or a GP about AstraZeneca (which is widely available).
At the airport, he said he had been urging staff to get vaccinated since July when Canberra had no cases. He could then make the safety case to states which were closing borders to the ACT if the great majority of staff were vaccinated.
"They are sick of having no job and no income and it's not very difficult to understand," he said.
There were 45 different companies operating at the airport and "all but one or two" had workforces with 90 per cent vaccinated, at least with one shot.
"I think you see businesses around Canberra, whether they're cafes or whether they're gyms, realising that we've got to get on board and help the government get the Canberra community up to 80 per cent vaccinated," Mr Byron said.
On the construction site for the Department of Health building in Fairbairn Business Park next to the airport, all of the 144 workers had either been vaccinated once or the full twice, Mr Byron said.
The National Cabinet meets on Friday, with state leaders divided on how soon borders should be opened if infections persist elsewhere.
Some want virtual eradication of the virus first. But New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian is more bullish, even with the more virulent Delta variant still ravaging her state.
"Australia will need to come to terms with the fact that when you get to a certain level of vaccination and open up, Delta will still creep in," she said. "Everyone will have to learn to live with it."
The science, particularly the mathematical modelling, is not clear on how much economic or social life is possible even with high proportions of the population fully vaccinated.
There is a view that even with very high proportions, severe lockdowns will still be needed.
In May, Virgin Australia's chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said that "Covid will be part of the community, we will become sick with Covid and it won't put us in hospital, and it won't put people into dire straits because we'll have a vaccine".
But she added: "Some people may die, but it will be way smaller than with the flu".
There was uproar over the remark. It may have been true - but the politics played very, very badly.
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