Mandatory Vaccination Passports key to City Centre Recovery
Heart of the City is calling for mandatory digital passports to provide certainty for business and ensure the city centre’s position is secured.
The city centre has the greatest concentration of businesses in New Zealand and consumer-facing businesses are currently losing around $25M a week through the current COVID restrictions. That’s a massive impact with the loss of tourists, students, events and 130,000+ people working at home.
Viv Beck, Heart of the City Chief Executive says that “We need to encourage visitation and spending in our city centre, and we need to welcome back workers, their suppliers and customers, and importantly make sure they feel safe. Vaccination is the best option right now and we need to ensure there is a clear framework that everyone understands.”
“This is the reality we are all facing, and our businesses need as much certainty as possible. Many sectors are haemorrhaging they shouldn’t be put into a position where they have more stress about how they meet their Health & Safety responsibilities and who can or can’t come on to their premises” says Beck.
“Government needs to take a lead on this by making vaccine passports mandatory and determine how to deal with exemptions. They must respond to calls from sectors that are hurting by putting in place a system that allows them to get back to business. It’s too much for businesses to have to navigate through possible legal ramifications, and working out what exemptions would look like” says Beck.
A simple and easy to understand process that will support business and importantly encourage people to come back to work and visit is vital and it’s needed quickly.
Beck says that “The city centre represents 20% of Auckland’s GDP and we need to ensure there is a strong trading period ahead to support our businesses. This change is vital to underpin that.”