The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Vaccine mandates removed, capacity increased for hospitality venues

The government has announced updates to the current traffic light settings which will see vaccine mandates and vaccine passes removed.

From Friday, March 25, the COVID-19 Protection Framework will be simpler which will help Kiwis manage life with Omicron, while reducing the impact of future outbreaks, says the government.

“Our focus now is to make life simpler and closer to normal, but retain the things that we know are most effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting people.”

Here is a summary of the changes to the Red light system in regards to Kiwi bars, pubs and clubs:

From 11.59pm on Friday, 25 March –

  • Indoor capacity limits for bars and other on-premise venues will increase to 200 people, with patrons still seated and separated.
  • Outdoor face mask requirements will be removed.
  • There will no longer be a requirement for customers to scan in or for your business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.

From 11.50pm on Monday, 4 April –

  • There will be no requirement to ask for a My Vaccine Pass for customers in venues.
  • Government vaccine mandates for hospitality workers will be removed.

Hospitality NZ says the COVID-19 settings changes do not go far enough and that increasing the capacity for venues is a waste of time.

“The cap should be pinned to the capacity of the venue. Lifting it will not work for bars and other night venues. The seated model does not work for them, even with a higher cap.”

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