Waiheke hospitality businesses flung open their doors for the first time last weekend after more than three months of level 3 operating restrictions.

Overall, opening under the new traffic light system was fairly smooth sailing for the five island eateries Gulf News spoke to, although there were minor teething troubles.

Meanwhile, a nationwide industry survey found that 72 percent of operators encountered challenges implementing the new traffic light system measures.

Waiheke Restaurant Association president Cat Vosper, who runs Casita Miro in Onetangi, was fully booked her first weekend open and said it was wonderful to see many of the restaurant’s regular customers again.

“It was a really heartening beginning. Of course, we were a little anxious, but I’m really pleased everyone is taking the vaccine certificates and other precautions seriously.”

There were a few road bumps for island eateries around checking vaccination passports, with a couple of reports of customers arriving without having successfully downloaded the vaccine certificate onto their phone. 

Checking the passports also meant having a dedicated door person at all times for many venues.

Vosper says the passport system worked well overall, and she didn’t encounter any suspicious or fraudulent behaviour.

“It went pretty smoothly, although it’s quite time-consuming and we needed an extra person to check everyone. We also encountered a couple of guests who needed a bit of help getting their passports sorted.” • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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