Steph Hosking of Luxe and Duke Hairdressing in Auckland is excited to reopen the salon doors.
“Oh, excited, definitely excited that we can finally open the doors.”
This will be New Zealand’s first real-world test for digital vaccine transitions, launched late last week.
“Hairdressers will need to work with vaccination cards, take reservations only, don’t go in, make sure there isn’t a major congestion, and make sure staff are vaccinated,” says Ardern.
Hosking said customers have already submitted their vaccination certificates in preparation for the reopening.
“Many have already sent proof of that status, and I think we’ll have them show it to us before they sit on the chair and we start cutting,” he says.
But hospitality, gyms, events and churches will have to hang there as they are not included in Thursday’s vaccination certificate trial.
“Among all industries, hairdressers are at the lowest risk,” says Ardern.
Others will have to wait until December 3, when the entire country switches to the new traffic light system.
“There is certainty in history, certainty in where we are going to move, and certainty when we see everything reopen,” Ardern says.
But which light you get will depend on how close each zone is to the magic 90 percent inoculation mark.
“Two hundred thousand people are waiting for the second dose – please go out and get it,” says Ardern.
For locked-in Aucklanders, the options seem endless once restrictions are lifted.
One says, “I’m tempted not to do the dishes, so it’s definitely restaurants.”
Another adds, “It would be nice to go to the pool.”
After being shut down for 107 days, many in the city are itching for freedom.
“It’s pretty exciting but also a little frustrating,” says one Aucklander.
“It’s a great feeling to move forward,” says another.
The third says, “Great, right before my mom’s birthday. I’m looking forward to some freedom.”
As one of the world’s highest vaccinated and longest quarantined cities, Aucklanders have definitely earned their impending freedom.