Hospitality industry considering requiring patrons being fully vaccinated

Entering a bar could require more than just proof of age if our hospitality industry adopts vaccine passports.

This would mean the industry may require patrons to prove they've been fully vaccinated before entering. 

The limit for those operating under alert level 2 is now 100, which means more business but it also means more risk.

Some hospitality businesses are considering a new condition - no jab, no entry.

"We're really supportive of it," general manager of Oxford Group Janelle Pritchard tells Newshub.

"We've already seen evidence at other hospitality businesses where there's been a cluster or an outbreak and it can be quite catastrophic so we don't want to be in that position." 

This idea is gaining momentum overseas. Across the ditch the New South Wales government is warning businesses could be fined if they hire or allow unvaccinated people on their premises. 

France is introducing vaccine passports to attend nightclubs, but the UK chose to buck the trend by saying vaccine passports would be socially divisive.

So, what does our Government think?

"We will have more to say on that in due course but ultimately I am very supportive of people encouraging people to be vaccinated but there are some legal issues to work through," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Out on the street, reaction is mixed.

"You make the conscious choice to not, when you know when it's very clear that it's beneficial then I don't think you deserve the same rights as other people," one member of the public told Newshub.

Another person added: "I'm a bit uncomfortable with it because it feels like private medical info but also anything that gets people vaccinated is a good thing so i'm on the fence."

New Zealand has been late to the party in vaccinating the population, so a vaccine passport may be a way off yet, if it's the right thing to do. 

"I don't think that's something that we would feel very comfortable doing," general manager of Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn Ava Nakagawa tells Newshub.

"I just last week had to reiterate to my staff we aren't police officers, we are working in hospitality."

Jeremy Smith from Hospitality NZ said: "Before we even start talking about that, we've got to get some certainty for businesses and right now we're in crisis mode."

There's plenty of heavy lifting still to be done in the sector, but doubling the patron numbers today was a good start. 

Watch full story above.