“Obsolete” isolation rules imposed by the government are impacting retail, tourism and hospitality businesses and need to be relaxed, says the CEO of Auckland Business Chamber, Michael Barnett.
“We are giving our businesses a case of long Covid that they may never recover from by not using the test, pass, work protocol that should be the rule to keep people freely moving around the country and workplaces open,” he said.
“As our tourism, hospitality and retail businesses see a glimmer of recovery with a busy winter season and the imminent opening of the borders, hotels are closed, skiers are queueing in the cold for a bus that will not come to get to the ski fields, airlines are cancelling and rescheduling flights and small and medium businesses around the country are having to shut for a week with insufficient staff not only because of sickness but restrictive isolation rules for household contacts,” he said in a statement urging the government to lighten the load.
“The isolation rules for household contacts are obsolete, outrun by freely available vaccinations, boosters, quick tests, anti-viral medicines, mask-wearing – admittedly too slack at present – and greater personal responsibility to stay home when sick.
“Business needs a chance to build momentum, confidence with certainty, and be trusted to run a safe and healthy workplace for all.”