COVID-19: Some businesses refuse to ask customers for vaccine status

Some businesses have opened their doors this weekend, but are refusing to ask customers for their vaccine status.

Under the traffic light system, hospitality venues are required to check if they want to serve people sitting down - but some business owners say that's discriminatory.

You don't need to be double-jabbed to buy a donut at Grownup Donuts.

"It's not okay to be discriminating on other grounds so why is it OK to be discriminating in this case?" coowner Daniel Black asks.

Black is operating his three stores as contactless as possible because he's chosen to not check customers' vaccine certificates.

"We're very wary that we would alienate and divide a lot of our customers, they might feel pressured, like they don't want to come back to our business anymore," he says.

He's not the only hospitality business owner Newshub has spoken to who says everyone's welcome - vaxxed or not.

So far 3.6 million digital vaccine passes have now been issued.

The overwhelming majority of Aucklanders out this weekend were all good with showing their medical record, to enjoy the novelty of no dishes.

"We are so happy to be in a social setting, eating out, food that we didn't cook," one person said.

"Honestly it was a bit awkward at first, I've actually just driven up from Christchurch so this all feels very new to me. I wanted to have the beer so I was happy to do it," another added.

Security guards have been hired to man the mandate but mostly wait staff are okay with asking.

"People have been really kind, really helpful as I say," Fridas manager told Newshub.

Retailers aren't required to ask for a vax pass but almost everywhere else is - hospitality, gyms, hairdressers, and churches.

The Ministry of Business and Innovation told Newshub business owners can choose to check a customer's My Vaccine Pass or not. But if a hospitality venue doesn't check, they'll have to operate under tighter restrictions.

If they serve customers, they could face charges although the Ministry says it's operating a "graduated compliance model" - with an emphasis on "education first".

Meanwhile many have already made up their mind.