Business NSW CEO Daniel Hunter said the current COVID-19 lockdown is having a significant and damaging impact on the state’s economy and on mental health and livelihood of the community.
“It is now time for us to start the planning for reopening parts of the economy in a COVID-safe way, starting with people who are fully vaccinated,” Mr Hunter said. “We have seen significant increases in vaccination rates across the state. Passing the six-million mark last week was a huge milestone and we congratulate the NSW community for their work in driving up these numbers.”
Mr Hunter said reopening low-risk businesses, particularly those that are primarily based outdoors, such as outdoor personal trainers or hospitality venues with outdoor seating, to people who are fully vaccinated should be a priority.
“The government needs to provide clear guidance and a roadmap for these industries so they can start to plan their reopening and have all necessary controls in place from day one. Of course, those businesses must continue to operate in a COVID-safe way, combining vaccination with other COVID controls such as QR code registration, face masks and social distancing,” the CEO said.
Mr Hunter said the business community needs straightforward method for customers and staff to prove their vaccination status.
“Business NSW acknowledges this will be an evolving environment for business and customers as the virus changes, and as vaccines and booster programs are implemented and broader public policy responses are improved. But we need to consider how we live with the virus and there should be incentives and encouragement for people to get vaccinated,” he said.
“In learning to live with this virus, it is critical that the government starts to allow low-risk businesses to reopen for vaccinated people in a COVID-safe way.”