Traffic light confusion puts businesses at risk

The Labour government has said the traffic light system is coming, but a lack of clarity is causing concern and confusion for desperate businesses, says National’s Small Business and Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay.

“The Government’s announcements have created more questions than answers for Kiwi businesses.

“Hospitality and tourism operators already have hundreds of bookings for summer. Gyms have thousands of members, and hairdressers regular clients who want a haircut. But these business owners have been left to wonder what the rules will be and how they will enforce vaccination checks for customers and staff, in their busiest period of the year.

“The Government’s press conferences are adding greater confusion. The only information available on the traffic light system is that under “Orange” businesses that are able to open today under level 2 will not be able to if they are unable to confirm the vaccination status of clients.

“That means that a gym with a thousand members could face prosecution if one unvaccinated member walks onto their site. A hairdresser who has taken bookings up until the day before Christmas could be forced to phone every client and ask for proof of vaccination status or fall foul of the Government’s rules. 

“The Prime Minister has said she’ll announce a move to the traffic light system after November 29, but the policy is still not complete.

“Auckland hospitality businesses need to be planning staff and ordering stock now for the run up to Christmas. They cannot wait for the Prime Minister to announce when she will make an announcement.

“This is a Government big on press releases but light on detail. It needs to show some urgency and stand up for the Kiwi businesses who have once again been left to fend for themselves.

“Summer is coming Prime Minister, let New Zealanders in on your plan.”