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Region’s businesses pass on the vaccine system

Most Wairarapa businesses are dropping the My Vaccine Pass system, according to a recent survey.

A total of 34 businesses responded to a Wairarapa Times-Age and Business Wairarapa survey distributed last week.

Most expected the loosening of New Zealand’s red covid-19 traffic light settings to have a positive impact. However, most respondents also said that increased attendance limits would have no impact.

As of April 5, vaccine passes were no longer mandated at most locations, including hospitality venues. Individual businesses could still choose to apply the vaccine pass system.

The government had limited vaccine mandates to the health and disability, aged care, corrections, and border workforces.

From March 26, indoor capacity limits had also increased from 100 to 200, with outdoor capacity limits removed. From Thursday, all limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings were removed.

Outdoor face mask requirements had been removed, although there would be additional mask requirements for workers at indoor events in the orange setting.

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There was no longer a requirement for QR code scanning.

None of the survey’s 34 respondents said that they would continue to use the My Vaccine Pass system, with only one business unsure.

Most businesses [88 per cent] said they would not require customers to scan in with QR codes before entering their premises, and 85 per cent said they would not require customers or staff to wear face masks outdoors.

A slim majority [53 per cent] said they would not require employees to be vaccinated, while 29 per cent said they would still require vaccination even if not mandated, and 15 per cent would continue because they still fell under government mandates.

Overall, 59 per cent of businesses expected the loosening of restrictions to have a positive impact, while 35 per cent said there would be no impact.

However, just 29 per cent said the 200-person limit for indoor gatherings at the red setting would have a positive impact, while 59 per cent said it would have no impact.

Most businesses [64 per cent] said the omicron outbreak had a negative impact on their revenue, with 21 per cent saying it had no impact and just two respondents saying it had a positive impact.

Asked what challenges the omicron outbreak had presented, the most common responses were staffing and recruitment complications and fewer customers.

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