18 Nov 2021

Gisborne business leader concerned about summer visitors

From Checkpoint, 5:39 pm on 18 November 2021

Double vaccinated visitors only thanks - that's the preference of a Tairāwhiti business leader as Gisborne braces for a summer influx.

Come December 15, Aucklanders are being set free - able to travel out of the city as long as they are double vaccinated or have a recent negative Covid test.

Gisborne's festival season is hanging in the balance; the district is unlikely to reach 90 percent double dosed in time for Rhythm and Vines and the area could be stuck at red on the new traffic light system unless it boosts immunisation rates.

Meaning the event would be off. Belinda Mackay is president of the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce and also works in DNA diagnostics including Covid testing.

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce President Belinda Mackay told Checkpoint the city needs more certainty about who can visit the area.

She does not think the region will realistically reach 90 percent double-dose vaccinated by mid January. Mackay said while Rhythm and Vines brings in millions and provides hundreds of jobs, there is a real concern in the community as vaccination rates remain so low.

She would prefer to see only double-vaccinated people able to enter the region.