The famous Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta has introduced new rules for unvaccinated customers but maintains it will not refuse anyone service.

The outback South Australian pub, grocery store and service station is a lifeline for pastoralists with nowhere else to shop within 200 kilometres, and a magnet for tourists.

Owner Peter Moore said a new rule requiring unvaccinated people to vacate the building as soon as they had finished shopping had been generally well-received by locals in the region.

The rule meant unvaccinated customers would not be able to sit inside the iconic venue for a meal or a drink.

“If we have someone that comes in with COVID and infects one of our staff, that staff member then has to stand down and the next time that happens another staff member’s going to have to stand down, and we don’t have a line-up of staff,” Mr Moore said.

Regular customers known by roadhouse staff would have their vaccination status recorded so they only needed to show their certificate once.

The Oodnadatta Track near William Creek
The roadhouse is the only grocery store for hundreds of kilometres.(ABC Rural: Carmen Brown)

Mr Moore said the roadhouse took its role in the region seriously.

“We do need to serve everyone because that’s part of our role as a supermarket, a post office, a service station et cetera.

“We don’t see it as restrictive because we’re not refusing anyone service in any way, shape or form.”

Tourists unlikely to put up a fight

Mr Moore said he was anticipating tourists to be compliant.

“We do expect a busier than normal summer … You’d almost say 95 per cent [of tourists] are very understanding, and so far we haven’t had any problem at all,” he said.

“We’ve said you can come, and you will be served accordingly but all you have to do is go outside.”

The Pink Roadhouse has long been a tourist drawcard at outback Ooodnadatta.
Roadhouse owner Peter Moore says most of the locals and tourists are fine with the change.(Supplied: Alison Day)

A spokeswoman for SA Health said in a statement the Royal Flying Doctor Service had been offering vaccinations in the Oodnadatta area.

“People in Oodnadatta who would like to be vaccinated can contact the staff at the Oodnadatta clinic, who can make arrangements to ensure the RDFS have the vaccine available to the community on their visit,” the spokeswoman said.

“Residents can also visit the local pharmacy or Aboriginal Health Service in Coober Pedy, or the vaccination clinic in Port Augusta if they are heading out of town.

“Our focus is ensuring people are aware of the availability of vaccination, especially in our rural and remote communities and we have undertaken extensive planning to determine ways to best support Aboriginal and remote communities as we transition to live with COVID-19.”

Extracted in full from: Iconic Pink Roadhouse ‘not refusing anyone service’ despite new vaccination rules for customers – ABC News