Businesses adjusting to rules

No pass, no entry . . . Mataura Licensing Trust Senior Manager Glenn Dickson stands outside Traffers pub, which now requires customers to present a My Vaccine Pass under the Orange traffic light setting. PHOTO: MICHAEL CURREEN

Despite a loss of customers, Gore businesses are managing to adjust to the new rules brought in by the traffic light system, which took effect on Friday.

Halo Hair owner Trudy Paewai said not all customers were happy having to show a vaccine pass to receive a haircut.

“We have lost clients over it. But it’s black and white for us. If they haven’t got a pass we’re not allowed to cut their hair. It’s a $15,000 fine if you’re caught doing that. There’s nothing we can do about it. People don’t realise that. We can’t afford that.”

One customer was particularly rude, she said.

“He walked out and slammed the door in front of us.

“Some people will be quite nasty about it, but we’ve decided to back each other as a team if somebody gets nasty.”

Mataura Licensing Trust senior manager Glenn Dickson said his staff had not had much trouble when asking to see customers’ vaccine passes.

“It’s been reasonably well received. We have had to turn some customers away. We don’t make the rules -we’ve just got to follow them.”

While this did upset some customers, most were understanding, he said.

The Green Room Cafe owner Catherine Borthwick said her staff had not faced any abuse over the new rules.

“We’ve had one man who was slightly difficult, but not in the least bit abusive.”

Since Friday the business had been quieter, she said.

“Quite a lot of my regulars aren’t vaccinated so they aren’t able to come in.”

On the other hand, one group of customers had told her they felt safer and more comfortable knowing everyone there was vaccinated, Ms Borthwick said.

St James Theatre manager Paul McPhail said the theatre could finally host live performances again, which had not been possible since August.

“We had a live show here on the weekend with a really good turnout. We could have a full theatre again.”

While a handful of people did not have vaccine passes, “there was no hassle at all. Nobody got angry or upset,” he said.

“I think in three weeks’ time people will know exactly what the system is and they’ll just take it as an ordinary everyday thing to do.”