Dan Andrews, the premier of the state of Victoria in Australia, vowed Sunday to "lock out" unvaccinated people from the health system and from the "vaccinated economy."
What's going on?
Elected officials in Australia, which has finely begun to give up on its oft-questioned and criticized "zero COVID" policies, have been trying all sorts of gimmicks to get its population to get vaccinated — including rewarding fully vaccinated subjects with an extra hour of outdoor recreation time.
Officials have also resorted to threats, including arresting anyone caught outside for longer than permitted or for breaking curfew or for daring to go past their 5-kilometer virtual leash.
Now Premier Andrews is saying aloud what many bureaucrats across the West have hinted at for months now: Anyone who does not get vaccinated will not be permitted to be part of the economy or the health system.
On Sunday, Andrews told the media that Victoria would move to "protect" the region's health care system as well as create a "vaccinated economy" and that the state would "lock out" anyone who is unvaccinated, the ABC reported.
"We're going to move to a situation where, to protect the health system, we are going to lock out people who are not vaccinated and can be," Andrews said.
"If you're making the choice not to get vaccinated, then you're making the wrong choice," he continued, adding that, "for safety's sake" during what he said is now a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" as things open up, "it's not going to be safe for people who are not vaccinated to be roaming around the place spreading the virus."
And in case anyone in Victoria had any questions, Andrews made it clear that, if you do not get the jab, you will not get to take part in business.
"There is going to be a vaccinated economy, and you get to participate in that if you are vaccinated," Andrews said.
Noting that such a plan cannot take place now, since there are many people waiting to get vaccinated, the premier warned that when everybody who can get vaxxed has been given a chance to get the shot, then his state was "not going to have a situation ... where we lock the whole place down to protect people who won't protect themselves."
According to the ABC, the government is working on a pilot program to test "the viability of a vaccine economy, where more events, facilities and services are open to people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine."
"The economy, as best it can, will operate as close to normal as possible to people who have had two doses," Andrews added, the ABC said.
These newest threats against the unvaccinated were a step up from Andrews' threats on Friday when he declared that unvaccinated people would be locked out of venues across the state, including pubs and sporting events.