- November 13, 2021
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Related video: Auckland hospitality business owners desperate for targeted support as livelihoods hang in the balance. Credits: Video – Newshub; Images – Getty Images/file
Hospitality businesses want the Government to allow them to reopen, says Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White.
Venues across the country are launching a campaign to open up – saying the safety measures they have in place mean risk of COVID-19 transmission can be kept low.
White told Checkpoint hospitality businesses had invested in COVID-19 protocols and know how to operate safely.
"There’s a real call from the public around even getting us open. We’re saying why wait, the vaccine rates are up in Auckland so we actually think let’s get going.
"It’s really important that we open sooner rather than later.
"What we’re hearing from our members is that they’re ready and so are customers."
There was also no need for size limits in the venues either, with vaccination rates high enough and safety measures including seating and social distancing in place, White said.
"There’s no reason that we couldn’t even move to what the current alert level 2 is, it’s a really confined and highly compliant environment when you go and eat at a restaurant.
"What we do as a business, we look after people, so that’s our first priority is to welcome people back and we’ll welcome them back safely.
"So that’s our call, the community wants it, we want it, enough is enough, we actually need to get opened.
"The 90 percent [vaccination rate] is the rate the Government came up with, we obviously have to live with COVID now … so we’re actually thinking it’s time now that we actually live with [it]."
Even though the vaccine certificate system has not yet kicked in, White still believed they would be able to operate safely.
"Our members are willing to do as much as they can do to keep people safe, they actually understand, they’ve been consulting their staff, the majority of the staff are vaccinated."
As for drunk people who may forget the rules, White said staff were trained to deal with these matters as part of their host responsibility.