David Koch and his fellow Sunrise hosts will reportedly refuse to have hair and make-up done by crew who are not vaccinated.
Hosts Koch, Natalie Barr and Edwina Bartholomew, as well as the show’s executive producer Michael Pell, are all fully vaccinated and have said they will only work with beauty staffers who are too.
It is anticipated the stance could be a significant move towards mandatory vaccination in Australian TV.
It was reported at least one Sunrise hair and make-up artist, who is unvaccinated, is frustrated at the potential to be banned from working on the show.
Seven’s concern is that hair and make-up artists are freelancers who work on other TV programs throughout Sydney and could bring Covid-19 into Seven studios from other workplaces.
It is understood Koch voiced Covid-19 worries for the wellbeing of Bartholomew, who is pregnant, and his age (65). Concerns were then raised with Seven management.
A ban on unvaccinated make-up staff was put in place at Seven shortly after.
NSW has reached 46.2 per cent – or more than three million people – of the eligible population being fully vaccinated.
The state has administered 5.1 million first doses and that number is expected to reach 80 per cent of the adult population within days.
Koch has previously fired up on Sunrise about vaccinations being mandatory in the workplace, telling federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg it was “stupid” to be optional in a pandemic.
“This is stupid. You’ve got to give clear guidelines to say that people should be vaccinated. It‘s a health emergency,” he said last month.
Mr Frydenberg responded, “It will depend upon the individual circumstances.”
But Koch interjected, “That’s too wishy- washy … I think you’re leaving employers out to dry.”
The development at Seven comes weeks after the hair industry was reeling at rumours it was not going to be one of the first industries opened by the NSW government.
Australian Hairdressing Council chief executive Sandy Chong said the speculation had “sent the industry into a spin” given a large percentage of workers were younger than 40 and had restricted access to vaccines.
“We surveyed 1000 salon owners and only a small handful, maybe five, could say their whole team was full vaccinated,” she said.