No jab, no sav: Major Australian winery forces its employees to get vaccinated against Covid and bans customers who haven’t had the jab
- Adelaide Hills winery Bird in Hand requires visitors to be double vaccinated
- Social media announcement sparked complaints of ‘discrimination’
- The winery doubled its promise to ‘be a fully vaccinated winery’
- South Australians are not on lockdown, but face interstate travel restrictions
A major Australian winery has announced that customers must be fully vaccinated to visit and has made the shot mandatory for its employees.
Bird In Hand Winery, in Woodside in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, announced on social media on Thursday afternoon its plan to ‘be a fully vaccinated Winery by November 15’.
“A double dose of vaccination is required upon entry,” the message read.
The winery’s stance indicated that staff should also be vaccinated, following the relocation of Australian fruit and vegetable company SPC in early August.
“Let’s help ourselves, our friends in lockdown in the eastern states, our wine, food, hospitality and tourism partners by making this happen,” said Bird In Hand founder Andrew Nugent.
A major Australian winery is under siege after announcing customers must be fully vaccinated to visit
Bird in Hand Winery founder Andrew Nugent (pictured) wants his company ‘fully vaccinated’ – but he got a response on social media
South Australians are not cut off, but travel to and from the state is restricted. On Thursday, four new Covid cases were announced.
But after receiving hundreds of complaints from anti-vaxxers, Nugent issued a statement on Friday — doubling down on his promise.
‘It is an individual choice to get vaccinated. It is also a right and responsibility for individuals to do what they think is best for their own personal environment,” said Mr Nugent.
“The decision was made to help this community reduce the number of deaths, the strain on our hospital system, loved ones dying alone, mental health problems, suicide, depression, domestic violence and the socioeconomic shock of longer, more frequent lockdowns.”
The winery’s decision to make vaccinations mandatory for customers and staff sparked online debate.
Many of the comments addressed to the winery bordered on insulting – with one broker saying the winery would expect no help if bushfires hit the Adelaide Hills property.
Others claimed the winery encouraged “discrimination” and “segregation”, while some said they didn’t want to be forced to be vaccinated by a company.
“I am by no means an anti-Vaxxer, but I will get the COVID vaccination when I am ready, not when forced to,” wrote one critic.
Some commentators on the winery’s stance said they weren’t against vaccination – but they wanted to do it when they wanted and not be told by a company when to do it
Bird in Hand Winery also received a lot of support for its vaccination policy
A large number of followers also supported Bird in Hand.
“What annoys me is that the majority of people who pronounce this decision badly would never have drunk this wine, nor would they have been to this winery,” one man wrote.
“It has just become a platform for the scammers to falsely express their grievances against BIH.”
“I applaud you for this decision, as do the majority of the Australian population.”
Another woman wrote: ‘I’m a Sydneysider who loves your sparkling pinot! I look forward to seeing you when I get to return to SA. Don’t believe the nut bags – you’re doing the 100% right thing by getting everyone vaccinated.”
Bird In Hand wasn’t the first major private company to abuse after it took a pro-vax public stance — SPC did so in early August.
It also faced a deluge of hostile messages after staff ordered to be vaccinated — or lost their jobs — and forced to restrict who could comment on its Facebook posts.
But the winery is the first high-profile South Australian company to do so and the biggest name wine producer.
The Prince Alfred Pub in Port Melbourne offered a free beer to vaccinated customers in July, followed by the craft brewery Hawkes in Sydney, which offered a free slice – also known as a ‘jab and slab’ – to customers who had two doses.
Daily Mail Australia approached Bird in Hand Winery for comment, but it referred us to the statements on social media.