Auckland businesses hope customers play by the traffic light rules

Auckland businesses hope customers play by the traffic light rules

From RNZ

Auckland businesses are hoping customers don’t see red when the traffic light system comes into play.

On Friday, Northland and Auckland will be in red, along with Taupō, Rotorua Lakes, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts. All other regions will enter the system in orange.

Vaccine passes and all the administration that comes with the system will finally come into play.

Olaf’s Artisan Bakery Cafe manager Oranna Blanke is delighted to finally be able to welcome customers back inside the Mt Eden venue.

“We’re so, so happy that we can finally reopen.”

Auckland businesses hope customers play by the traffic light rules

Olaf's Artisan Bakery Cafe in Mt Eden. Photo / Richard Robinson, File

She said the Government’s decision to allow malls and retailers to open earlier, while her cafe could not seat people outside, physically distanced, was “a hard pill to swallow”.

The cafe’s customers would need to tick three boxes to enter – scan in, show their vaccine pass, and provide some ID.

A front of house worker would be permanently stationed to check these before a customer was allowed to enter, but Blanke said they were reluctant to play the role of bouncer.

“I don’t want to be policing people. That’s exactly the opposite of what hospitality should be – we want to invite the customers in.”

People needed to be patient and remember to bring their ID and vaccine pass.

“I just hope people don’t forget that they have to do these three steps. Otherwise, we have to be very firm.”

While bars, restaurants, cafes and gyms customers have to use vaccine passes, retail does not.

Mount Eden’s Time Out Bookstore will not not require customers to show a vaccine pass.

Manager Jenna Todd said the shop was not obliged to check vaccine passes but it did have to ensure customers wore masks, were physically distanced and scanned in – as it was already doing.

“At this stage we are going to stick with those rules, we’re going to lighten the load on ourselves at a really busy time of year,” Todd said.

She said all staff were vaccinated and the shop welcomed vaccinated people.

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