SO-CALLED Freedom Day will be one of mixed emotions for thousands of returning workers on Monday.
While retail and hospitality staff who have been either stood down or working reduced hours for the past eight weeks will be excited to be returning to their work and a steady pay packet, they may not be as excited about some of their new duties.
There are still plenty of questions to be answered with regard to the policing of customers' vaccination status, and just who will be expected to police it.
When the state government was planning its roadmap out of lockdown one of the key tools intended to keep both staff and customers safe was an integrated vaccination passport app to be linked to the Service NSW app that millions are already using as they QR-code into businesses.
But the app has not yet been made available to the broader public, with a Service NSW spokesperson telling the Sydney Morning Herald last week said that, while a pilot had started, it was only "being tested internally, primarily amongst Service NSW staff".
"External participants will be invited to join the pilot in [the] coming days. Participating businesses will include community clubs, aged care providers and taxi companies. Up to 500 customers will participate," the spokesperson said.
So where does that leave businesses that are reopening on Monday, where does that leave their customers and where does that leave their staff?
We can only assume it will leave businesses forced to nominate staff members to act as their own vaccination police to check the status of customers coming into the premises.
It will time-consuming, costly and potentially confrontational if customers wish to make a scene.
The unfortunate situation will impact even more heavily on small businesses and those that employ largely young workers who may be more easily intimidated.
Of course it's a cost they will readily wear because it will be less than the cost of continuing to keep the doors shut, and no one would argue that it would have been better to wait until the app was up and running before coming out of lockdown.
But as we take our first tentative steps back to normal it might be worth remembering that we're all in uncharted waters and we're all feeling our way. Some kindness and consideration will go a long way.
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