Manawatū business community worries some may see red as traffic light system begins

Under the new system, hospitality venues can open at orange with no restrictions if they follow the vaccine pass requirements.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

Under the new system, hospitality venues can open at orange with no restrictions if they follow the vaccine pass requirements.

Some members of the Manawatū business community have concerns about checking vaccine passes and the potential for confrontation as the Covid-19 traffic light system is introduced.

There were a number of questions about these issues at a Manawatū Business Chamber event discussing the new traffic light system on Friday.

Under the new system, hospitality venues can open at orange with no restrictions if they follow the vaccine pass requirements.

This means customers would have to show their My Vaccine Pass when entering the venue.

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Manawatū lawyer Alastair Hall said he had received quite a bit of feedback about the potential for confrontation.

The most common policy that people seemed to be adopting was to avoid confrontation and then decide what they are going to do from there.

“Whether that is a matter for the police, or whether there’s going to be some kind of confrontation at the front door, the answer is probably not because that’s not what the staff are there to do.

“Hopefully it’s minimal, it’s isolated. We’re not getting widespread reports of mayhem at the front doors of business, but there certainly have been some arguments and I think most of the people that were here today have said they’d had some level of pushback, even in relation to just wearing masks.”

Mike Clark, of Think Right, said his advice was for businesses to get training for their staff on how to deal with these issues and to put a policy in place on how those situations would be managed.

Hall had also received questions about how venues were going to be able to check everyone’s vaccine passes.

He said for some workplaces that was going to be a difficult question to answer as they had different layouts, and positioning someone at the front door wouldn’t always be a viable option.

“Some will have the capacity to do that, others like a small baker in a regional town might find that pretty difficult, so that’s creating some angst amongst some.”

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