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It will be up to individual businesses to continue to manage risks and implement workplace safeguards to protect staff and operations as Government rejigs the red setting, scales back vaccine mandates, scraps the vaccine pass and scanning, and removes capacity limits on outdoor and indoor events and venues, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.

“The hospitality and events sectors will be relieved with no capacity limits on outdoor events and hospitality venues can welcome from Friday 200 seated, separated clients indoors to give them the best chance yet to revive, but with or without mandates, vaccine passes or scanning, the responsibility of all employers is to protect lives and livelihoods,” he said.

The dampener is that we are stalled on red until April 4 when the setting will be reviewed and mandates for all, but health, corrections, aged care, and border workers will be rolled back at midnight, Mr Barnett said.

“But we still have ridiculous and unfair discrimination keeping thousands of critical workers isolating at home because they don’t make the government definition of critical despite an armory of protection from high vaccination rates to widespread availability of rapid antigen tests to give the all clear to safely return to work.”

Mr Barnett said business was well equipped to apply the right balance of practical workplace health and safety practices and wellbeing policies, be it an ongoing requirement that their staff are vaccinated, wear masks, stay home if unwell, test to give the all clear to return to work and practice good hygiene.

“We have to live with Covid. Business manages risks every day and can be trusted to do what is right for their people and the community. We don’t need a government mandate now to keep workplaces – and business operations – safe and healthy.”

 

For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber