The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New rules impact bar industry in New Zealand

With the announcement of a ban of gatherings of more than 100 people, new guidelines have been put in place for the New Zealand hospitality industry, which has already been severely affected by the impact of the Coronavirus.

The guidelines, announced by Government yesterday, state that bars and pubs (among other hospitality venues) will have a limit of 100 people and head counts must be done to ensure the number is not exceeded. Customers will also be expected to stay at least a metre away from each other and a register of guest details will also have to be kept for four weeks, including full name, address and contact phone and email details.

“These measures are important to protect the health of New Zealanders, which is our number one priority,” Health Minister David Clark said. “They will change the way we attend bars and restaurants and have an impact on the way people go about living their lives, but we have to apply common sense in these circumstances.”

Bars such as Sardine in Newmarket’s new dining district in the Westfield mall, are providing guests will hand sanitiser as they enter the bar and wipe down the Eftpos machine following every transaction.

Jason Rosen, owner of The Parasol & Swing Company in Auckland’s Viaduct, told The Shout NZ that he had already been restricting the amount of people allowed in his venue to under 100 prior to the announcement and was closely monitoring those who entered the bar. “We have also already had to politely ask a foreign couple to leave who told us they had just arrived on a cruise ship this week but were clearly ignoring the 14-day self-isolation policy all new visitors are being requested to agree to,” he said.

Meanwhile, following yesterday’s announcement of those over 70 being required to stay home as much as possible, controversial Auckland bar owner Leo Molloy has been turning away people who are over the age of 70.

Molloy – who owns HeadQuarters in Auckland’s Viaduct – told The NZ Herald he and his staff are checking ID and passports and turning people away who are in the older age-group: “I’m protecting them, you can’t have them wandering around people who might be asymptomatic carriers, or all these nutcases who weren’t self-isolating. It’s in everybody’s best interest,” he said.

New Zealand now has 52 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including two cases which have no link to overseas travel.