Our birthday present to my mother in law was a trip to Riverstone Kitchen and the castle next to it. We have been to Riverstone for many celebrations, as it is in North Otago, not too far from Dunedin. It is close to where both sons live. Before COVID, we took my parents. The food is superb. Now takeaways only.
We support the Tarras Cafe. We detour to visit it. But it, also, is closing.
A Central Otago cafe once voted the most popular in the region will close its doors because the owners and most of the staff are not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Tarras Country Cafe owners Emily and Peter Todd said they had chosen to close the doors on Thursday before the Government’s traffic light system came into effect on Friday.
The couple were not vaccinated, nor were eight staff, Emily Todd said.
“I actually feel a lot better now because I have stood up for myself and for my staff, who I would have had to fire. I only have two full-time double-vaccinated staff and I have 10 on the books.
“It has caused a rift between my staff as well, because some are very pro and some are very against.”
The traffic light system will require many businesses to check vaccine passports to avoid stricter restrictions, including hospitality venues serving food and drinks to the public. If a hospitality venue chose not to use vaccine passes, it could open for contactless pick-up or delivery only.
Todd announced in a Facebook post on Sunday night that the cafe would close for the foreseeable future.
“I cannot and will not run my business when I have to discriminate against who I can and can’t employ, and who I can and can’t let in my doors.”
It looks like however, that the local university will require people to be double vaxxed to enter the building.
And it looks like this will be the time I retire. I cannot be part of a consent process which is coerced.
After seeking your initial feedback and careful consideration the University has decided to propose that full and current vaccination against COVID-19, or a Government-approved exemption, becomes a condition of entry for all staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public entering University premises from Monday, 10 January 2022. This date is the first day of Summer School.
The position paper has been developed after weeks of consideration of our situation, new Government regulations, initial feedback from staff and feedback from student representatives. It also takes account of possible developments to COVID-19 itself, including the potential appearance and spread of new and more virulent strains.
As previously signalled, University leadership firmly believes that vaccination against COVID-19 is critical for keeping our community safe. Vaccinations play a primary, evidenced-based, role in protecting the wellbeing, health and safety of our University community and everyone we interact with in our wider community. In the course of our work, we have contact and we interact with each other and groups of people, some of whom are vulnerable, on a regular basis. COVID-19 vaccines are an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
Another significant consideration in supporting the proposed way forward I am sharing today is the new COVID-19 Protection Framework (also known as the traffic light system) which comes into effect on Friday, 3 December. The University received the tertiary guidelines for how we operate under this Framework on Friday, 26 November. The new Framework and guidelines mark a fundamental shift in how we manage COVID-19.
For universities, the Framework and associated Government guidance confirm that we are able to remain open at all coloured levels, but with stringent requirements at Orange and Red Levels. For example, under the Red Level the Government determines that we can only maintain on-site delivery of teaching if all those on our campuses are vaccinated. At the Orange Level operational requirements differ according to whether people on campus are vaccinated, or not.
If everyone is vaccinated, under the Orange Level operating the University is significantly less restricted. For example, under both Orange Level and Green Level, if all participants are vaccinated events and gatherings can proceed without restrictions on gathering numbers and physical distancing. In effect, the new Framework and guidelines mean that for us to continue to deliver a high standard of teaching, research and outreach in 2022 we will need everyone possible to be vaccinated on our campuses and University-owned premises.
It is recognised that there will be a small number of staff and students who will be unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. If the policy is implemented, people who fall under this category will be asked to follow the Ministry of Health guidance for establishing their medical exemption. This will allow them to obtain a valid My Vaccine Pass.
If this policy comes into effect, staff who choose to remain unvaccinated will have their employment options worked through with HR.
Students who choose not to be vaccinated under the policy may be able to choose from a limited range of online study options.
Time to walk away.