A controversial move to force Northern Territory workers to get a Covid vaccine or risk a $5,000 fine if they go to work unvaccinated has prompted fierce debate online.
Australia's move to mandate vaccine across increasing numbers of states and territories has faced fierce criticism, not least from critics overseas.
Already in New South Wales, and soon to be in Victoria, workers who come into contact with the public are being told the get vaccinated or face being stood down if they cannot work from home.
The Northern Territory government has now warned local workers to get jabbed or face a $5,000 fine - and started the clock on the vaccine-reluctant and sceptical.
Chief minister Michael Gunner said essential workers, anyone in a face-to-face customer service role, or Territorians working with vulnerable people would cop the fine if they turn up to work without at least one dose by Friday, November 12.
That puts him just 28 days away from enacting what is believed to be the toughest vaccine mandate in the world.
Memes soon flooded the internet, with many mocking the strict vaccine mandate - while others agreed with the move
The Northern Territory government has warned local workers to get jabbed or face a $5000 fine - and started the clock on the vaccine-reluctant and sceptical (pictured, shoppers leaving a Darwin Coles wearing face masks)
DO YOU AGREE WITH MANDATORY VACCINES FOR SOME WORKERS?Yes - for health care, aged care and hotel quarantine staff 648 votes Yes - for all workers 1139 votes No - no one should have to 4014 votes
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Mr Gunner wants to achieve the target of 80 per cent of Territorians being fully vaccinated by mid-November, but evidently that is not enough.
All workers who come into contact with the public or are essential workers must be fully-vaccinated by Christmas Day.
'Simply not wanting the vaccine is not a reason [to avoid it],' Mr Gunner warned.
So far 58 per cent of people in the NT are fully-vaccinated, well behind the national rate of 65.4 and a long way short of NSW, which leads Australia with 78 per cent.
'You must receive a Covid-19 vaccine if in the course of your work, you come into contact with vulnerable people, your workplace poses a high risk of infection, or you perform work that is necessary for the operation or maintenance of essential infrastructure or logistics in the Territory,' he said.
Social media reaction to Michael Gunner's tough vaccine mandate tended to be alarmed and sincere or mocking the hashtag
Mr Gunner said even if people were unsure if they were required to get vaccinated, they should do it.
The reason for this is 'the worker may not know the vulnerability of the person they are interacting with'.
'It is simple, if your job include interacting with members of the public, then you need to get the jab,' he said.
'If you work in hospitality, you need to get the jab. If you work in retail or in a supermarket, you need to get the jab.'
'If you work behind the counter in a bank or are a receptionist or positions like that then you need to get the jab.'
All front-line and essential workers will have to be fully vaccinated by Christmas Day (pictured, a woman is vaccinated in Darwin)
Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner (pictured) is 28 days away from enacting what is believed to be the toughest vaccine mandate in the world
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