Can you refuse entry to your facility if a storer is not wearing a mask?
A Facility has an obligation of safety to its staff and storers and is permitted to do what it believes is reasonably required to protect their health and safety. The requirement to wear a face-covering has been made by the Victorian Government to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Parliament is able to make this direction during a state of emergency.
Accordingly, a Facility can legally refuse access to people not wearing face coverings, unless one of the following exemptions applies:
- the person is an infant or a child under 12;
- the person has a physical or mental illness or disability, which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable;
- the person is communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing;
- the person is engaging in strenuous physical exercise (this could extend to moving goods in and out of a unit); or
- the person is consuming food, drink, or medicine.
Storers who are refused access do not have grounds to contest the Facility’s decision. A right not to be discriminated against on the basis of not wearing a mask does not exist and a Storer’s refusal to wear a mask does not qualify as an act demonstrating freedom of political communication under the Australian Constitution.
If any Facility owner or member of staff is concerned about their well being during any discussion with a storer not wearing a mask, they should immediately make contact with local police.