14 Feb 2022

Restaurants closing, denied 'ludicrous' test-to-work exemption

From Checkpoint, 5:45 pm on 14 February 2022

Some hospitality businesses feel they are getting the cold shoulder again from government after being left out of the test to work scheme, which is designed to keep the doors open during peak Omicron.

With Covid infections climbing, the country is moving into Phase 2 of the Omicron response from 11.59pm Tuesday.

That includes 'test to work', where staff in so called 'critical industries' can bypass isolation if they're close contacts, as long as they return negative daily rapid antigen tests, which will be supplied by the government.

So far 5,620 businesses have joined the exemption scheme. But the already-strained hospitality sector says it is not considered a critical industry.

Mandy Lusk from Vivace Restaurant in Auckland says the criteria to be deemed 'critical' are ludicrous.