Restaurants and bars “worry about the application of vaccine passports”
Restaurant Association General Manager Marisa Bidois said Level 3 is not a restaurant savior.
Support for vaccine passports has declined in the hospitality industry as business owners consider how they would enforce a requirement, according to the Restaurant Association.
When asked if they would support the introduction of a passport-type document, showing that a person has been vaccinated, to enter reception areas and events, 26% of those interviewed supported the idea but only at Alert Level 2 or higher, 23% supported the idea at all levels, 34% did not support the idea and 16% were unsure.
In August, 26% said they did not support vaccine passports.
The realities of running such a program have hit business owners, said CEO Marisa Bidois.
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The main challenge would be dealing with clients who do not adhere to the policy, followed closely by the practicalities of the application. Communicating the rules to local and international customers was also a concern, she said.
Additional staff and training were the fourth and fifth biggest challenges, according to the survey.
“A previous survey conducted just before the delta outbreak showed that 70% of members were in favor of vaccination passports, but as the practicalities of managing clients on site began, our members are now finding that the largest challenge is to control such a mandate, said Bidois.
“While everyone wants to keep their staff and customers safe, the practicalities of the app pose challenges for our business owners. With part of the population likely to remain unvaccinated, this means that our companies could handle very complex situations. “
About 39 percent of companies said they would consider requiring workers to be vaccinated, while 34 percent said no and 25 percent said they were not sure.
“We’ve had issues where members have come in contact to talk about the power dynamics in terms of dealing with people who just don’t want to follow the procedures in place.
“Traditionally, we are welcoming people. It’s a kind of change in the core business of hospitality. There are a lot of questions that have been raised about this. “
Last week, the association reported that 1,000 hotel companies had closed, taking 13,000 jobs with them.
Bidois presented a plan to the Parliament’s Committee on Economic Development, Science and Innovation.
The roadmap for the future of the hospitality industry aimed to help the sector bounce back from job losses and closures since the start of the pandemic.
The association expected the fallout to be significantly worse over the next six months.
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hoped there would be high vaccination rates to avoid future lockdowns and shorten periods of isolation at the border.
“I want 90 [per cent], I want really high rates [of vaccination],” she said.
She acknowledged that the hospitality industry had been hit hard and that resurgence payments were available to support businesses.
Regarding vaccine passports, Ardern said it would be “absolutely” necessary to travel the world. The other area for a passport to use was for events.
“It’s a way to get the events industry back on track and to operate safely. I think people would rather have that option rather than canceling events, ”said Ardern Breakfast. “This is something that we are considering,” she said.
Tim Dare, professor of philosophy at the University of Auckland, said hotel companies already play a controlling role in overseeing the sale of alcohol and passport control will only be an extension of that.
“I am puzzled as to what role the vaccination passport will play once we reach this point where there are enough people vaccinated. It doesn’t matter if an individual is not.
But the hospitality industry may have to face this and train its members, he said.