A mother and daughter have been dragged out of their own restaurant in handcuffs for allegedly failing to comply with Western Australia’s Covid vaccination rules.
Topolinis Caffe co-owner Jodie Jardine, 51 and her daughter, 22, spent much of Monday night in lock-up after their Warwick eatery in Perth’s north was stormed by about a dozen police officers.
The pair were charged under the Emergency Management Act for allegedly working at the family-run Italian restaurant despite not being vaccinated.
Ms. Jardine’s husband Phil, with who she owns the restaurant with, complained the unvaxxed are ‘being segregated like the Jews in Germany’.
Under WA’s mandatory jab requirements introduced on January 31, all hospitality workers in the state must be double dosed or face harsh fines and even jail time. About 93 percent of people aged 12 and over are fully-vaccinated in the state.
Ms. Jardine bizarrely claimed that by not being vaccinated while on the job, she’s ‘standing up for the future of our children’.
A ‘wall of police officers’ descended on the restaurant which has been operating since 1998, at about 5:30 pm as a ‘standoff’ between police and staff began.
Eventually, the un-jabbed duo was arrested and led outside away by officers into awaiting cars.
Later in the evening, the mother and daughter were eventually dropped off at the restaurant to the applause of an awaiting crowd.
‘It’s a mother and daughter and we were in the cell,’ Ms. Jardine said.
‘We’re going to have to tell my grandchild … we were arrested for her or him because we’re standing up for our children and my grandchildren, that’s what I am doing. I am standing up for the future of our children and if we don’t, we’re not going to have a future.’
‘[My daughter] was braver than me, but you know, it’s for the kids, we’re doing it for the kids, it’s always been about the kids.
‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the restaurant and my staff, my 20 staff that I have rely on me for their pay, I don’t know I am going to have to get a lawyer and see what our next step is.’
Police had attended the venue earlier that day at about 1 pm warning the business they could not stay open with unvaccinated staff.
‘Police spoke with the owners and staff and advised them of their obligations under the Emergency Management Act,’ she said.
‘About 5.30pm, police re-attended and found the café open and trading for business. Staff were asked to leave the café and the café was closed by police.
‘A 51-year-old woman and a 22-year-old woman were taken into custody.’
Three other people at the restaurant were hit with fines.
Premier Mark McGowan on Tuesday made no apologies for the tactics of police saying: ‘Well that’s the law and people need to comply with it’.
Ms Jardine’s husband Phil told The West Australian unvaccinated West Australians are ‘being segregated like the Jews in Germany’.
He also told Radio 6PR he has been let unvaccinated diners into his restaurant.
The maximum penalty for breaching the Emergency Management Act is 12 months behind bars and a fine of $50,000. For corporations the penalty can be up to $250,000.