Covid 19: Holiday parks planning vaccine mandates for campers

One of New Zealand’s largest resort groups is considering barring bookings from unvaccinated campers in preparation for a summer.

TOP 10 which runs fifty campgrounds across the country has said that campgrounds have some difficult booking decisions to make ahead of the high season.

The holiday parks has said it will be difficult to accommodate unvaccinated guests if Covid is endemic in the community.

CEO David Ovendale says that local lockdowns have played havoc during the October school holidays and Labour Day bookings.

“If we lost the summer that would be extremely difficult,” he said.

The possibility of a “No Jab, No stay” policy was now a plan the board and campground owners were discussing to shore up vital summer bookings, he told Newstalk ZB.

Whichever decision they make, it won’t please everyone says Ovendale, but that’s the challenge the industry is facing.

“Do you have the right to sleep in a tent 10 metres away from me if I’m vaccinated and you’re not? That’s where life gets a lot more interesting.”

“We’re hoping for some leadership and guidance but if that’s not forthcoming then we’ll have to forge our own way forward.”

The nature of the campgrounds has meant that the parks were easily made compliant with previous distancing measures and visitor caps.

However without government guidlines, Ovendale said they were taking their lead from industry leaders such as Air New Zealand.

On Sunday the carrier said it would be mandating vaccines for all international travellers from 1 February.

Air New Zealand are now considering extending this to their domestic network, but would have to balance this with the need for air connectivity across the country.

The use of rapid antigen tests was also being considered as an option for unvaccinated passengers.

“Asking domestic travellers to be vaccinated is something we’ve been looking at but haven’t made any decisions on,” said a spokesperson for the airline.

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