Coronavirus: Businesses calling on Government to set date country will move into traffic light system

Businesses around Auckland are calling on the Government to set a specific date that New Zealand will move into the new traffic light system.

The Government is set to review the alert levels on the 29th of November, with the Prime Minister saying the entire country will move into the new framework soon after.

But businesses want more certainty, saying that is too close to Christmas for comfort. 

The vaccine pass was trialled at Panhead bar in Wellington on Thursday, but there are still a few kinks to be ironed out. 

"We scanned it [vaccine pass] a few times and it all seems to be working so far," Panhead owner Matt MacLaughlin tells Newshub. 

"If we get told what the rules are to get our businesses back open fully, we're going to jump through hoops to be able to do that."

But the rules around the vaccine pass are still pretty murky.

"When the app flashes green, great, straight-forward - but what happens if it's red?" asks Krisna Botica, director of Comensa.

After months of lockdown, the vaccine pass is key in helping Auckland hospitality businesses get back to normal.

But restaurateur Botica says the Government needs to set an exact date for a move to the traffic light system. 

"The pattern that we've had when we have these announcements is that we make them and as soon as possible we set it going," Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says. 

Businesses say the short turnaround the Government has been using for a change in alert levels is too short for them to adapt to a brand new system. 

"It's so frustrating trying to explain to the powers that be that a two-day turnaround isn't enough for certain restaurants," Botica says. 

But it looks like the Government won't budge on the short turnaround.

"The certainty we can provide, we have provided ... there is now a clear pathway and plan for Auckland," Robertson says. 

Hairdressers also want a solid date to mark in their calendars. 

"This is essentially our recovery plan, so having a definitive date would give us the opportunity to really manage it in a way that benefits everyone," Mana Dave of Blaze Hairdressers tells Newshub. 

Dave says the Government has started the ball rolling, but they need to bring businesses along with them. 

"Anytime you've got a new system, a new way of operating, we're imagining there are going to be some teething problems," Dave says.  

Businesses remain worried about the issues they'll encounter once everything opens up under the new traffic light system. 

"Please, we need more help," Botica says. "This isn't enough. We need to understand more."

And enough time to prepare for an influx of Aucklanders who are hungry to get back to normal.

Watch full story above.