The government’s big announcement last week has provided some light at the end of the tunnel for the hospitality industry. It has been an extremely tough year, but the announcement means that, hopefully within the next month or two, the industry will no longer live in fear of having to abruptly shut their doors due to lockdowns. In short, once we reach 90% full vaccination rates across the DHBs, we move to a new ‘traffic light system’ with vaccination certificates. Continue reading to learn more about our new way of life and how it will impact the hospitality industry.
The following information is gathered from the ‘Unite against COVID-19’ official website: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/covid-19-protection/. Along with the implementation of the ‘traffic light system’, there will be the use of vaccination certificates. Hospitality businesses will have the choice as to whether or not they require customers to have vaccination certificates. As long as businesses request vaccination certificates, they will be able to run at every level with minimal restrictions. If you choose not to require certificates, you can still operate at every level, but it comes with increased restrictions, depending on the level. We have summarised the ‘traffic light’ and vaccination passport rules in relation to the hospitality industry below:
*Red: If you request vaccination certificates, there is a 100 person limit with 1m physical distancing required; if you do not wish to request vaccination certificates you can only operate through contactless deliver/pickup.
*Orange: If you request vaccination certificates there are no restrictions; if you do not wish to request vaccination certificates you can still only operate through contactless deliver/pickup.
*Green: If you request vaccination certificates there are again no restrictions; without vaccination certificates, you can operate with a limit of 100 people with physical distancing and people must be seated and separated.
These new rules means that the hospitality industry will no longer have to live in fear of having to abruptly close their doors completely due to lockdowns, and provided vaccination certificates are used, you can operate at any level with very little restrictions.
At present, all DHBs in New Zealand need to hit 90% before the entire country can shift to the new traffic light system. However, the Auckland region will be able to move to ‘red’ as soon as all Auckland region DHBs reach 90%. And the South Island can move to ‘orange’ as soon as all South Island DHBs reach 90%.
Some of you may be feeling slightly uneasy moving into this new traffic light system, and although it is not being done exactly the same in other countries we can still look at other countries to see what our new way of life may look like as they too are beginning to open up. Victoria, Australia, who has just been through their sixth lockdown and are only now just re-opening their restaurant and bars doors, also require certain restrictions, including mask-wearing indoors and vaccination certificates (for more details see: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/hospitality-food-and-beverage-services-sector-guidance). This shows the NZ hospitality industry that even with restrictions, it's possible to open back up and get our businesses on its feet again.
If you are feeling slightly overwhelmed at the thought of opening your restaurant or bar, we are here to help! Contact us today and we can provide you with all the tools you need to ensure your business is ready to take on our new way of life successfully.