Gisborne cafe's plan to get around traffic light system fails

Author
Katie Harris, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Dec 2021, 2:16PM
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Gisborne cafe's plan to get around traffic light system fails

Author
Katie Harris, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Dec 2021, 2:16PM

A Gisborne cafe has backtracked on plans to host "events" to get around the Government's Covid-19 traffic light system restrictions.

Far East Coffee Co Roastery told Instagram followers last week that from tomorrow it would host "events" from 10.30am to 12.30pm each day it opens which won't utilise the vaccine passport system.

Outside of these public events, the post said the cafe would be adopting the vaccine passport system.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) told the Herald businesses can only host these types of gatherings when someone has hired the space for "exclusive use".

"And that person isn't the person who manages the premises."

Following Herald inquiries, the establishment told social media followers "ripples" had appeared in its decision to host the events.

"The result being that events are now no longer allowed in Red or Orange outside of the passport system. Soooo…..the result of that is we are now in Version Two of our plan… here's the low-down..," the post read.

It stated that from tomorrow they would be offering takeaways to all customers up until Christmas.

"We need your support with this, we know takeaways aren't like sitting in, but we'd love you to still swing by and maybe take your orders to the beach or to one of our other beautiful locations."

Gisborne is currently in a red light, with 77 per cent of those eligible fully vaxxed, and 87 per cent having at least one dose.

MBIE said that although businesses are able to switch between requiring and not requiring passes, they need to clean the premise between the two groups, and ensure they follow the appropriate rules depending on what system they're using.

"Gatherings include voluntary or not-for-profit sporting, recreational, social, or cultural activities, community club activities, faith-based gatherings, funerals or tangihanga, weddings, or gatherings at someone's home."

Last month the Government announced businesses that are required to - but refuse to - enforce vaccine passes could face fines of up to $15,000.

Anyone found not to be complying with an obligation to check attendees' My Vaccine Pass could be charged with an offence under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.

If convicted they would face up to six months' imprisonment or a fine of up to $12,000.